Friday, 19 July 2024

Textile Details

'The Earth Always Remembers / La TIERRA siempre recuerda', by Deborah Stockdale. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)
'The Earth Always Remembers / La TIERRA siempre recuerda', by Deborah Stockdale. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)


Title of Textile:The Earth Always Remembers / La TIERRA siempre recuerda
Maker: Deborah Stockdale
Country of Origin: Republic of Ireland
Year Produced: 2018
Size (cm): 65cm (w) x 73cm (l)
Materials: Cotton, linen, mixed fibres
Type of Textile: Arpillera

The 'War on Drugs', declared by former Mexican President Felipe Calderón in 2006, has claimed the lives of over 150,000 people. In that same period there were more than 27,000 cases of disappearances, a figure which now exceeds 37,000. Human Rights Watch (2019) "Mexico: The Other Disappeared". Frustration at lack of access to case files and essential information leads families to take up the search themselves. Amnesty International (2016) "TREATED WITH INDOLENCE: THE STATE’S RESPONSE TO DISAPPEARANCES IN MEXICO"

Here Deborah depicts them in this arduous process. Giving voice to her piece, she describes them searching: “in remote areas where there are signs of rough burials, [using] metal probes to find bones, remains, clothing and sometimes human ashes”. In their search, families are faced with what Dr. Allen Feldman describes as cultural anaesthesia or “The loss of loss”. He argues that they cannot speak publicly about their loss while a regime that allows its own people to disappear is in power. “Histories of Violence: Living with Disappearances”; (Brad Evan’s interview with Allen Feldman, Los Angeles Times Book Review, 26 Feb, 2018)!

The all enveloping eyes of this piece, keeping vigil with the families as they search, remind us that “The Earth Always Remembers”. It presents a powerful challenge to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, elected on 1st July 2018.

Owner: Conflict Textiles collection. Donation from Deborah Stockdale
Location: Conflict Textiles store
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Martin Melaugh
Provenance: Donation from Deborah Stockdale.

Textile Detail Image(s)