Following in the Footsteps of the Disappeared
Artist: Conflict Textiles
Artist Statement: This short film was produced by Conflict Textiles to accompany the “Following the Footsteps of the Disappeared” online exhibition of conflict-related textiles and range of activities, to mark International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances on 30 August 2020. “Following the Footsteps of the Disappeared” is a partnership between Conflict Textiles, the Ulster Museum and the John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace, Ulster University, and also the Transformative Memory Network. Film credit: https://www.kavodfilms.co.uk/
Film Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYpWaI-3SZY&t=1s
Website Link: https://cain.ulster.ac.uk/conflicttextiles
Artist Biography: Conflict Textiles is home to a large collection of international textiles, exhibitions and associated events, and is mainly comprised of arpilleras (brightly coloured patchwork pictures) and quilts and wall hangings, all of which focus on elements of conflict and human rights abuses. Conflict Textiles is an ‘Associated Site’ of CAIN (Conflict Archive on the Internet) at Ulster University, Northern Ireland. Making visible the struggle for the disappeared remains at the very core of the collection. Roberta Bacic is the curator of Conflict Textiles and is a Chilean Collector, Curator and Human Rights Advocate living in Northern Ireland. \n Arpilleras (pronounced ‘ar-pee-air-ahs’) can be described as three-dimensional, appliquéd tapestries of Latin America that originated in Chile. These became the medium for women, generally working collectively, to denounce the human rights abuses and repression of the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile from 1973 to 1990. The art of making arpilleras subsequently spread to women’s groups in Peru and more recently to Spain, Brazil, Argentina, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Zimbabwe, Colombia, Canada, New Zealand and Ecuador. Stories of political conflict, anti-war protests, repression, survival, denial, death, disappearances, displacement, indigenous land struggles and transition to democracy continue to find expression in textile form. \n The Conflict Textiles selection of artworks for the Transformative Memories exhibition consists of 12 hanging textiles or arpilleras, one memory box and one set of embroidered, printed handkerchiefs mounted as bunting.