In this guest post, Tomoko Sakai reflects on the "Stitching Memoryscapes" exhibition that she organised in three cities in Japan in 2017: Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nagasaki. Read about textile explorations of war, the A-bomb, and natural and nuclear disaster in Japan and their dialogue with conflict textiles from Chile and around the world.
Happy New year, dear Stitched Voices blog followers and friends! We have some more interesting and varied blog posts lined up for you, to make 2018 another year of explorations into the world of conflict textiles. We start with the relaunch of the first part of artist Eileen Harrisson's reflections on her personal "Journey into Conflict and the World of Arpilleras". Enjoy reading!
The arpillera "We are seeds" was not made to be exhibited in an arts gallery. It was made to protest - against environmental pollution caused by the oil industry, forced diappernaces and other injustices in Mexico. Learn more about this disobedient object and its protest life in Jimena Pardo's guest post.
The second episode of Liv Williams' Stitched Voices podcast is here. Enjoy listening!
Related to the question discussed in previous posts of whether the pieces in our exhibition were “art”, there was some contestation around whether conflict textiles have an aesthetic value as such, whether what counts is the story of their origin/the story they tell, or whether they are also a form of testimony about human rights abuses that the respective perpetrators try to sweep under the carpet. Let's discuss!
"[W]hen I explained the story of this arpillera to my tour groups, they often stood quietly for much longer taking in everything it had to say." Read Danielle Young's reflections on the powerful conflict textile "Digital Death" and the effects it had on exhibition visitors.
This week, we continue our discussion of whether Conflict Textiles are arts, crafts or something else, and take a specific look at the reluctance of people inhabiting the "arts world" to take them seriously. Why so? And does it matter?
After sharing our experiences in organising and realising the Stitched Voices exhibition, we now turn to some deeper questions that arose in the process. One of those is whether Conflict Textiles are arts or craft or maybe something completely different, and whether it matters.
"[A]s someone who greatly appreciates written words, my favourite piece was a textile displayed at the Aberystwyth exhibition titled Hilvanando la busqueda, or in English 'Stitching the search'." In this guest post, Amal Abu-Bakare talks about her favourite exhibit and the experience of giving guided tours of Stitched Voiced. Read more here.
How do we know that Stitched Voices was by and large a "success", that it was somehow "good"? Success for whom, good in doing what, and who is allowed to judge this? Here are some thoughts and answers.