Wie bringt man entwaffnete Mitglieder einer Guerrillagruppe vor dem Hintergrund eines allgemeinen Klimas des Misstrauens nach Jahrzehnten des Krieges in Kolumbien dazu, sich gegenüber einer Gruppe von Wissenschaftlerinnen aus Kolumbien und Großbritannien zu öffnen und ihnen über ihr Leben zu berichten? In diesem Beitrag berichten Beatriz Arias und Berit Bliesemann de Guevara über ihr derzeitiges Forschungsprojekt und die textilen und narrativen Methoden, die sie einsetzen.
After decades of war and in a general climate of mistrust in Colombia, how do you convince disarmed members of guerrilla groups to open up to researchers from Colombia and the UK and to tell us about their lives? In this post, Beatriz Arias and Berit Bliesemann de Guevara report about their current research project, in which they employ narrative practices and textile-making as research methods.
En el contexto de un clima general de desconfianza después de décadas de guerra en Colombia, ¿cómo lograr que guerrilleros desarmados se abran a un grupo de investigadoras, para contarnos sobre sus vidas? En esta entrada, Beatriz Arias y Berit Bliesemann de Guevara cuentan de su proyecto con ex-guerrilleros en proceso de reincorporación, para el cual usan practicas narrativas biográficas y libros textiles.
"Textiles are the body’s first house, the body’s first architecture", American visual artist Ann Hamilton observed. In this guest post, Andrea Liu reflects on the the love affair between cloth and the body, textile and touch. Read more...
In this post we reflect on conflict textiles’ status as art, as well as on their potential, indeed their force, in pressing for (international) justice. As to the former question, we point out how conflict textiles complicate the very category of “art” – how they straddle divides between art, craft and activism, and how the medium of textile and the practice of needlework continue to be associated with femininity, domesticity and “mere” decorative purposes. With regard to the latter point, we describe the role that conflict textiles can play in trials and truth and reconciliation commissions, yet we also argue that their greatest value lies in the powerful work they do outside such formal justice processes.
In the second of her guest posts, Andrea Liu reflects on the needle, masculinity and femininity, and shows how the needle was both a tool of oppression and an instrument of liberation.
In this guest post, Gillian McFadyen reports on embroidery work that remembers the - often unidentified - persons who have died along the refugee routes into the European Union. Documenting them through embroidery, she shows, brings these human beings closer to us and helps us imagine their hopes and fears on their way into what they hoped would be safety...and what turned out to be tragedy. The deaths of these people are not fate, but the result of the securitising politics of Fortress Europe.
In this guest post -- the first in a series of reflections an the needle, the body, the cloth and political activism -- Andrea Liu traces & reflects on the story of the coat her great uncle Liu Zhuanghuan, an accused counter-revolutionary, wore in a Chinese forced labour camp in the 1950s. A powerful story and a compelling example of textiles as "public ambassadors for the politically oppressed and voiceless".
In this German log post, Berit Bliesemann de Guevara reflects on her use of conflict textiles in teaching and suggests ways how arts- and crafts-based methods can be used in teaching peace and conflict studies and international politics.
‘International Relations’ is a broad term which encompasses a range of different issues (e.g. war and peace, climate change, security) which are approached from equally diverse perspectives. In this post, Lydia Cole explores a recent experience of teaching international politics to high school students using a range of conflict textiles.