Between October 10 and May 31, the University of Aberdeen Museums and Special Collections will be hosting an exhibition of Chilean arpilleras, stitched by students on the Spanish and Latin American Studies program at Aberdeen.
During the Women Making History: Mexico and Chile in the Twentieth Century class, the students were guided by Professor Patience Schell (LLMVC) as they made their research-based arpillera, a Chilean fabric mural, while writing a commentary about the process of creating the dolls.
The mural connects with topics that we will be discussing in Weeks 5 and 11, when we reflect on cultural resistance and gender, and the arpilleras provide a significant example of the juxtaposition of art and politics:
Arpilleras emerged as an art form during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) and usually depict scenes of everyday life, especially for those who were against the dictatorship or perceived to be leftist.Professor Patience Schell, ‘Research-Based Arpillera‘, 2019.
The exhibition will be held on the ground floor of the Duncan Rice Library; to learn more about the arpilleras, check out Susan Traini‘s 2013 article, ‘Unforgotten to the unforgettable: How Arpilleras contributed to Chilean history informing everyday occupations and social change’; Jhonny Alexander Pacheco Ballén‘s 2018 piece, ‘Las arpilleras de shuba: bordado de arpilleras para tejer la memoria colectiva sobre los espacios’, and Jacqueline Adams‘ 2013 book, Art Against Dictatorship : Making and Exporting Arpilleras Under Pinochet.