Marjorie Agosín Presents "Stitching Resistance: The History of Chilean Arpilleras"
October 19, 2012
The LAII is pleased to welcome poet, human rights activist, and literary critic Marjorie Agosín to campus for a lecture on "Stitching Resistance: The History of Chilean Arpilleras" and a book-signing for the reprinted edition of "Tapestries of Hope, Threads of Love: The Arpillera Movement in Chile, 1974-1994." The event is to be held today, Friday, October 19, 2012, from 12:00-1:30 p.m. in the UNM Zimmerman Library Willard Reading Room. Co-sponsors for the event include the National Hispanic Cultural Center Art Museum, UNM University Libraries, and UNM Peace Studies Program.
This presentation takes place in conjunction with a stunning exhibit (also titled "Stitching Resistance: The History of Chilean Arpilleras"). An opening reception for the exhibit will be held on the same day, Oct. 19, at the National Hispanic Cultural Center Art Museum (1701 4th St. SW) from 4:00-6:00 p.m., and is open to the public. The exhibit will continue to run through January 2014.
Nearly forty years ago, the armed forces of Chile overthrew the administration of Salvador Allende. That day, September 11, 1973, created the necessary conditions in which this art form known as arpilleras was born and soon these textiles became the most visual (and visible), poignant, and widespread manifestation of opposition to authoritarianism, violation of human rights, the disappearance of loved ones-all things associated with the military government that ruled Chile until 1990.
Arpilleras are a powerful art form - so much more than a "charming" or "quaint" appliqué. Layers of sackcloth or burlap fabric (arpillera) are joined, principally through appliqué, to create multi-dimensional (in layers and meaning) works of protest and resistance. Based on the collection of poet and Wellesley College professor Marjorie Agosín, the NHCC exhibition is a result of an intense collaboration by poets, artists, scholars, and curators. It includes a total of 74 works by a variety of arpilleras (makers of arpilleras). The featured works span the period from the 1973 military coup to the recent 20109 Chilean mining rescue, and highlight humans rights issues and violations, abductions, desaparecidos (disappeared people), women and community, exile, and politics and authoritarianism.
In her noon lecture, Professor Agosín will discuss the profound history of the arpillera movement, drawing upon her scholarship related to themes of social justice as well as the pursuit of remembrance and the memorialization of traumatic historical events both in the Americas and in Europe.