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Sewing Witness: Student-made Chilean Textile Art

Tuesday 19th September - Sunday 24th September, open 11am - 6pm daily 
Main Hall King's Pavilion, King's College Campus University of Aberdeen  

An exhibition of student-made arpilleras (pronounced ‘are-pea-air-uhs’) showing moments from Chilean and Mexican women’s history.  Arpilleras are a form of fabric tapestries, depicting scenes of everyday life, especially during the military dictatorship (1973-1990).

In that period, when thousands were murdered or disappeared, tens of thousands tortured and hundreds of thousands went into exile, arpilleras were made by those left behind. Arpillera making fostered community, provided an income and allowed those living under the dictatorship to tell their stories of resistance and day-to-day life. The arpilleras were sold clandestinely in Chile, given to exiles far from home and sold internationally to raise awarenss of the political situation. Making, buying, selling, giving and receiving arpilleras were acts of resistance and solidarity.

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Students in a University of Aberdeen women’s history course, on Mexico and Chile, made these arpilleras to tell stories both from history and today, of hope, despair and resilience. Through their independent research, as well as through cutting, sewing, pricking their fingers and struggling to get a doll’s dress just so, they understood these stories with their heads, hearts and hands. Explaining their arpilleras to family and friends, they shared these stories with their own communities.

There are no tickets for this event. The exhibition is open 11am-6pm daily from the 19th-24th September. 

This event is supported by

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