Sunday, 18 April 2021
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    'Centenary 2021 War Resisters' International  / Internacional de Resistentes a la Guerra', by Linda Adams. (Photo: Pamela Hayes)
    'Centenary 2021 War Resisters' International / Internacional de Resistentes a la Guerra', by Linda Adams. (Photo: Pamela Hayes)


    Title of Textile:Centenary 2021 War Resisters' International / Internacional de Resistentes a la Guerra
    Maker: Linda Adams
    Country of Origin: England
    Year Produced: 2021
    Size (cm): 42cm (w) x 30cm (h)
    Materials: Recycled furnishing fabrics and clothing hand sewn onto burlap
    Type of Textile: Arpillera

    In this centenary arpillera, rich in imagery and stitched text, arpillerista Linda Adams encapsulates the essence of War Resisters' International (WRI) as they celebrate and commemorate 100 years of working together for a world without war. Formed as a small group in the Netherlands in March 1921 in response to the destruction of World War I and committed to avoiding future wars, WRI has grown to include 90 affiliated groups in 40 countries. Whilst the nature of war has changed beyond all recognition and WRI resistance has evolved, broadened, and adapted, the network remains committed to their founding declaration: “War is a crime against humanity. I am therefore determined not to support any kind of war, and to strive for the removal of all causes of war”.

    In this arpillera, two broken rifles, the powerful anti war symbol adopted by WRI in 1931, occupy the top corners and flank the WRI description. Underneath, Linda has depicted activists from a range of countries that comprise the broad base of WRI: “I wanted to show them as groups working side by side on a range of individual projects”. As Linda stitched them into life, as she moulded their stance to convey energy, urgency and action, she grappled with the message on their banners: “I wanted to use words to describe the actions rather than just list the names of the projects. I spent a lot of time choosing pacifist words designed to persuade rather than incite”. She considered, but rejected, the idea of banners with multinational flags as “flags are used as a rallying point in battles” and evoke nationalism.

    As these WRI pacifist and antimilitarist affiliates pursue a range of projects they hold their banners at waist level “because this often happens during protest processions”. We sense that now, in this centenary period, their broad based actions of denouncing war in all its forms and their emphasis on nonviolent strategies have as much, if not more urgency as in its founding year of 1921.

    Owner: Conflict Textiles collection
    Location: Roberta Bacic, Northern Ireland
    Original / Replica: Original
    Photographer: Pamela Hayes

    Textile exhibited at: Nonviolence in Action: Antimilitarism in the 21st Century, 24/03/2021 - 31/12/2021

    Textile Detail Image(s)