Sunday, 12 July 2020
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  • Textile Details

    'Aquí se tortura / Here they torture', Anonymous. (Photo: Colin Peck)
    'Aquí se tortura / Here they torture', Anonymous. (Photo: Colin Peck)


    Title of Textile:Aquí se tortura / Here they torture
    Maker: Anonymous
    Country of Origin: Chile
    Year Produced: 1978c
    Size (cm): 69cm x 61cm
    Materials: Scraps of material hand sewn onto burlap
    Type of Textile: Arpillera

    There is a traditional background for this arpillera but it is significant that the sun is absent and the mountains are bleak. In fact, the whole arpillera is very dark and sombre, a reflection, perhaps, of its topic.

    The maker of this arpillera is depicting her personal experience of torture. In the yellow room, she is being tortured on the table. Significantly, she portrays herself on her own, as she does not think she can speak for other women's experiences. She represents her very personal and painful experience, which she wants others to know about. She uses silk, unusual in arpilleras, probably to contrast with the harshness of the experience and turn it into something more bearable to recall. The blue cars are those of the Chilean secret police.

    Also significant in this piece is the fact that the torturers and the person guarding the door are all women. Chile had hundreds of torture centres during the dictatorship, some of which were gender specific while others were mixed. This work indicates that the maker was being held at a torture facility for women only.

    Owner: Private
    Location: Germany
    Original / Replica: Original
    Photographer: Colin Peck

    Textile exhibited at: The Politics of Chilean Arpilleras, 6/02/2008 - 19/04/2008
    Chilean Arpilleras , 11/09/2008 - 11/10/2008
    The Politics of Chilean Arpilleras, 23/09/2008 - 23/09/2008
    Stitching Resistance, 12/10/2010 - 16/01/2011

    Textile Detail Image(s)