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.
This is the last part of Eileen Harrisson's journey into the world of arpilleras, featuring poetry and more of her stunning textile art work.
In today's guest post by Lorna Dillon, we learn more about the history of arpilleras in Chile and beyond, which role they played and still play in denouncing human rights violations, and in the power of the seed of sewn solidarity.
The third episode of Liv Williams' Stitched Voices podcast is here, featuring Stitched Voices team member Christine Andra and artist Eileen Harrisson - enjoy listening!
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!
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.
This week, we are launching the first episode of Liv Williams' Stitched Voices podcast. Enjoy listening!