Stitching Resistance: Gender and Narratives of Latin American Women

Date:October 4th, 2012
Time: 11am-12:20pm
Venue: MacAlister Hall

On October 4th, Dr. Agosín will deliver a lecture on her work on women who are survivors of human rights violations in Latin America.

Tapestries of Hope, Threads of Love tells the story of ordinary women living in terror and extreme poverty under General Pinochet's oppressive rule in Chile (1973-1989). These women defied the military dictatorship by embroidering their sorrow on scraps of cloth, using needles and thread as one of the boldest means of popular protest and resistance in Latin America. The arpilleras they made—patchwork tapestries with scenes of everyday life and memorials to their disappeared relatives—were smuggled out of Chile and brought to the world the story of their fruitless searches in jails, morgues, government offices, and the tribunals of law for their husbands, brothers, and sons.

Author Dr. Marjorie Agosín, herself a native of and exile from Chile, has spent more than thirty years interviewing the arpilleristas and following their work. She knows their stories intimately and knows, too, that none of them has ever found a disappeared relative alive. Even though the dictatorship ended in 1989 and democracy returned to Chile, no full account of the detained and disappeared has ever been offered. Still, many women maintain hope and continue to make arpilleras, both in memory and as art.