Sunday, 19 September 2021
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    'AUSENCIAS –PRESENCIAS Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo/Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo'. by Ana Zlatkes. (Photo: Ana Zlates)
    'AUSENCIAS –PRESENCIAS Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo/Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo'. by Ana Zlatkes. (Photo: Ana Zlates)


    Title of Textile:AUSENCIAS –PRESENCIAS Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo/Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo
    Maker: Ana Zlatkes
    Country of Origin: Argentina
    Year Produced: 2014
    Size (cm): 40cm x 49cm
    Materials: Collage of images transferred to canvas, small pieces of discarded fabrics, sewing and embroidery threads.threads
    Type of Textile: Arpillera

    The military junta led by Lieutenant General Jorge Rafael Videla seized power in Argentine in 1976 and heralded an era of human rights violations, forced disappearances and illegal arrests.

    The Nunca Más (Never Again) report (1984) by the National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons estimate that up to 9000 cases of forced disappearance and other human rights violations were perpetrated and conclude the real figure to be much higher. Approximately 30% of victims were women with children under the age of 15 numbering 200.

    Pregnant women, who gave birth under abysmal circumstances in detention centres were then generally killed whilst many of their babies were illegally adopted by military or political families affiliated with the administration.

    Such atrocities seeded the beginnings of the Abuelas (Grandmothers) de Plaza de Mayo in 1977, a non-governmental organization dedicated specifically to highlighting and investigating the disappearances of their children and grandchildren.

    Here, Ana captures the anguish and determination of these grandmothers, who every Thursday for over forty years have continued to march around the obelisk in front of the government buildings in Plaza de Mayo, protesting at the disappearance of their loved ones, denouncing the actions of the military junta and demanding answers. The white stitches in circular format mark their weekly walk, whilst the bleak swirling nature of the arpillera alludes to this dark period of history in Argentine and portrays that their walk is seemingly never ending.

    Commenting on the creation of this piece, Ana remarks: “As artists we would like to give a testimony of the story lived in our country..” Whilst the numbers who maintain the weekly nonviolent protest have declined due to ill health, time and death, their sense of purpose and determination in walking together to denounce these atrocities is captured by Ana who reflects through a poem.

    Huellas marcadas por miles de pisadas.
    Una Plaza nunca más abandonada.
    Un largo camino recorrido.

    Mujeres luchadoras por la verdad y la justicia.
    Mujeres hacedoras de historia.
    Mujeres cuidadoras de la memoria,
    reivindicadoras de vida.
    Dignidad verdadera.
    Memoria encendida.

    Traces marked by thousands of footsteps.
    Square never again abandoned.
    A long road walked.

    Women who have struggled for truth and justice.
    Women who make history.
    Women who look after the memory.
    Claiming for life.
    True dignity.

    Poem by Ana Zlatkes written to accompany this arpillera made for the exhibition "SMALL Actions BIG Movements" in South Africa

    Owner: Conflict Textiles collection
    Location: c/o Roser Corbera, Fundación Ateneu Sant Roc
    Original / Replica: Original
    Photographer: Ana Zlatkes

    Textile exhibited at: SMALL Actions BIG Movements, 1/07/2014 - 11/07/2014
    COSIENDO PAZ: Conflicto, Arpilleras, Memoria , 26/03/2015 - 30/09/2015
    COSIENDO PAZ: Conflicto, Arpilleras, Memoria, 8/10/2015 - 4/04/2016
    COSIENDO PAZ: Conflicto, Arpilleras, Memoria STITCHING PEACE: Conflict, Arpilleras, M, 13/04/2016 - 12/06/2016
    Art and Human Rights Network Day , 20/06/2017 - 20/06/2017
    Arpilleras, yesterday and today, 14/09/2017 - 15/09/2017
    Arpilleras Speak Truth, 25/09/2017 - 28/10/2017
    Latin American Village, 16/02/2018 - 16/02/2018
    Arpilerak: Memoriaren Haritik Etorkizuna Josten / Arpilleras: Al Hilo De La Memoria, 12/04/2018 - 24/04/2018
    ARIPILLERAS: AL HILO DE LA MEMORIA, TEJIENDO FUTURO / Arpilleras: Knitting the Future, 25/04/2018 - 30/05/2018
    Mujeres Disruptivas / Disruptive Women, 22/01/2019 - 29/03/2019

    Textile Detail Image(s)