Wednesday, 21 February 2024

Textile Details

'100 pasos de libertad / 100 steps of freedom', by Heidi Drahota. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)
'100 pasos de libertad / 100 steps of freedom', by Heidi Drahota. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)


Title of Textile:100 Schritte Freiheit / 100 steps of freedom / 100 pasos de libertad
Maker: Heidi Drahota
Country of Origin: Germany
Year Produced: 2010
Size (cm): 42cm (w) x 27cm (h)
Materials: A variety of fabrics, some hand dyed
Type of Textile: Arpillera

In this textile Heidi portrays Afghan women’s restricted lives under the Taliban regime, 1996 – 2001. “Their freedom ended at [their courtyard] wall”, no more than 100 steps. Twenty years later, in August 2021, the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan. Heidi reflects: “[Women] are once again …. living under the oppression of the Taliban … no peace and no freedom”.

The universality of this arpillera extends beyond Afghanistan.

In the fusion of arpillera and poetry in "ARPILLERAS POÉTICAS" (2023), Conflict Textiles curator Roberta Bacic pairs it with Luis Zaror’s poem; which she translated from its original Spanish for the exhibition Arpilleras Poéticas (2023/2024).

My wife paints
Palestinian women
in the outskirts of Bethlehem.
I have asked her not to paint their crying
so as not to make pain last forever.

From the book “Windowsill of Memory“

As we read the poem, and return to the arpillera - the image of which emerged clearly to Roberta while reading the poem many times - we are confronted with the pain of shattered lives in Gaza. More than 60,582 people have been wounded and 23,968 people killed since October 7, 2023. (Aljazeera, 14 Jan 2024)

Owner: Heidi Drahota collection, Germany
Location: c/o Alejandra Wolff Rojas, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago de Chile
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Martin Melaugh
Provenance: Heidi Drahota

Textile exhibited at: Arpilleras: Voices on Tapestries, 8/03/2010 - 31/03/2010
Arpilleras y cotidianeidad femenina, 5/10/2013 - 7/11/2013
Macht mit anstatt Macht über: Widerstand für eine gerechte Welt ist möglich!, 9/09/2021 - 9/09/2021
Arpilleras Poéticas, 7/12/2023 - 12/02/2024
Archivos Textiles: memorias que persisten, 12/02/2024 - 17/03/2024

Textile Detail Image(s)