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.
Dani House gives us powerful insights into the Embroidering for Peace movement in Mexico and reflects with curator Roberta Bacic on how ordinary but, at the same time extraordinary, the practice of embroidering handkerchiefs to denounce murder and forced disappearance in contemporary Mexico is.
After 18 months of intensive planning and a lot of talking, meeting, emailing, travelling and more talking, Stitched Voices was finally ready to be set up and launched, and the events programme kicked off. Read more here.