The Needle as the Pen. Part 4: Cloth and Body, the Love Affair (2)

In this guest post, Andrea Liu reflect on how cloth relates to humanity in its mortality and transience – both cloth and our body can be cut, stitched, age, decay - and as a metaphor for life through cloth's restoration and mending. Another theme is cloth - in the form of headscarves, blankets and handkerchiefs - as a protest symbol. Read more...

Biographiearbeit und Textilkunst am Beispiel des kolumbianischen Friedensprozesses

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.

Biographical narratives and textile art: a research example from the Colombian peace process

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.

Narrativa biográfica y arte textil: un ejemplo del proceso de paz en Colombia

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.

Stitching In/Justice: The art of conflict textiles

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. 

Documenting the Refugee Crisis: Remembering through Embroidery

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.