(Un) Stitching Gazes – the project: By means of needles and threads, this project “(Un-) Stitching Gazes | (Des) Tejiendo Miradas” explores biographical stories of Colombians who were members of the guerrilla group FARC-EP, and who now find themselves in the process of reincorporation into civilian society. The project also includes the perspectives of their family members and new neighbours. Their stitches narrate a Colombia that is little known at the centre and in the cities of the country. It is also a project about peace, not as an elusive state in the distant future that we never seem to reach, but peace as a process set in the everyday, in the interactions between people who, in the midst of war, were set against each other by the violence. And it is a project composed of textile books, made at the hands of people and communities who actively live the fragile peace process.

Conflict Textiles collection: The international Conflict Textiles collection, comprised of arpilleras, quilts and wall hangings, draws together (mostly) women’s textile narratives of political conflict and human rights violations across many continents, in varying contexts, past and present.  Through the Conflict Textiles pieces in this exhibition (Des) Tejiendo Miradas / (Un-) Stitching Gazes, we are invited to put into dialogue the biographical stories, memories and reflections embroidered and sewn by demobilised FARC fighters, their families and new rural neighbours in Colombia with people’s lived experiences of conflict transformation, peace building and reconciliation in other parts of the world. –  Twelve striking arpilleras and other textile pieces from Chile, England, Mexico, Northern Ireland, and Peru invite us to reflect on common complexities and challenges of processes of conflict transformation, peace building and reconciliation. Depicting different themes, the Conflict Textiles pieces speak of the hopes and uncertainties of such processes and also the immense possibilities for change that open up when former enemies find ways to live on and live together.

A pesar de negociaciones y acuerdos, para muchos exguerrilleros el proceso de paz también era un salto a ciegas basado en un optimismo de vida. El libro Esperanzas cuenta de este optimismo que se muestra en las cosas pequeñas; pero entrelazado con la más grande de las esperanzas: que la paz dure y con el tiempo se convierta en realidad. 

Un relato de esperanzas que reconoce el sufrimiento; sin embargo, también puede mirar con optimismo hacia el horizonte con un clamor colectivo por la no repetición.

Negotiations and agreements notwithstanding, for many ex-guerrillas the peace process was also a leap of faith based on optimism in life. The book Hopes talks about this optimism which finds its expression in the small things but is intertwined with the greatest of hopes: that peace will last and eventually become a reality. 

A story of hope that recognizes suffering but can also look optimistically towards new horizons, with a collective call for non-repetition.