Monday, 21 June 2021
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  • Textile Details

    'Presencia de Edime Peirano / Edime Peirano's Presence', by Ana Zlatkes. (Photo: Ana Zlatkes)
    'Presencia de Edime Peirano / Edime Peirano's Presence', by Ana Zlatkes. (Photo: Ana Zlatkes)


    Title of Textile:Presencia de Edime Peirano / Edime Peirano's Presence
    Maker: Ana Zlatkes
    Country of Origin: Argentina
    Year Produced: 2018
    Size (cm): 45cm (w) x 65cm (l)
    Materials: Cotton threads
    Type of Textile: Memory textile

    Human rights violations, forced disappearances and illegal arrests became the hallmark of the military junta led by Lieutenant General Videla who seized power in Argentina in March 1976. The Nunca Más (Never Again) report (1984), by the National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons (Conadep), estimates that up to 9000 cases of forced disappearance and other human rights violations were perpetrated in this era and conclude the real figure to be much higher.

    Edime Peirano, a 25 year old lawyer who disappeared on the 15th April 1977, on her way to work, was one such victim. She was taken to ESMA (The School of Mechanics of the Navy), a torture centre in Buenos Aires, sedated, bundled into a plane which flew southwards, and thrown out alive over the Rio de la Plata river.

    Over 40 years later, textile artist Ana Zlatkes reconnects us with Edime. On her colourful sweater, which Edime hand-knitted herself, Ana embroidered a forest, using some sweater threads. Edime’s sister Alicia, who gave the sweater to Ana, imagines that: “maybe the last things she saw were the trees of the ESMA, before she was thrown into the Rio de la Plata river …via the Death Flights designed not to find the remains of the victims.”

    The prominent little white figure in the middle of the forest, Ana explains, “seems like a ghost, in the same way that [they] tried to make invisible the people who disappeared, but they are always present.”

    On 29th November, 2017, at the culmination of the five year trial in which 54 people were indicted for crimes committed at ESMA, 29 were sentenced to life imprisonment; 19 were given jail sentences ranging from eight to 25 years; and six were acquitted.

    On 29th April, 2018 a court ruling confirmed, what her family had long known, that Edime was amongst the disappeared of ESMA.

    As the threads of Edime’s life come together in this memory textile and her perpetrators are brought to justice Alicia expresses her thanks: “for keeping her memory alive and the others that encountered the same ending.”

    Alicia was present when this piece was exhibited for the first time in the National Museum of Cultures, Mexico, as part of the “Huellas: puntadas y caminares de la memoria / Footprints: memory stitches and steps” exhibition, 2018.

    Owner: Conflict Textiles collection
    Location: Roberta Bacic, Northern Ireland
    Original / Replica: Original
    Photographer: Ana Zlatkes

    Textile Detail Image(s)

      'Presencia de Edime Peirano / Edime Peirano's Presence' (Detail 1), by Ana Zlatkes. (Photo: Ana Zlatkes)  'Presencia de Edime Peirano / Edime Peirano's Presence' (Detail 2), by Ana Zlatkes. (Photo: Ana Zlatkes)