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.
Stitched Voices podcast no. 4 is here! Listen to the last of Liv Williams' insightful pieces on the power of conflict textiles.
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.