"One thing was not censored: the power of women's hands." --Marjorie Agosin
Since last Wednesday, I've been thinking about Chilean arpilleras. Arpilleras are folk textiles now widely sold in South America to tourists. I have a number of them; my husband has worked extensively in various South American countries.
Arpillera is Spanish for "burlap" and refers to the backing used:
In the same year, the rock start Sting recorded his song: They Dance Alone. It is the true story of another artistic rebellion that Chilean women performed: they danced alone in a dance meant for couples called the Cueca. Even now, many women still dance the Cueca alone as a form of mourning their loved (and disappeared) family members. You can hear the song here. It remains one of the most haunting and powerful pop songs I have heard.
Throughout history, artists have depicted oppression and inhumanity in their works; I've spent most of my life studying this kind of artwork. Still powerful pieces such as Guernica--made by Picasso who had money and prestige for protection--pale in comparison to the courage of the women who sewed these humble pieces and risked everything to relay the inhumanity they endured.
I have been thinking about Chilean arpilleras this past week. How would I relay all the inhumanity, indifference, and immorality of the past 4 years which culminated in the seige of the Capitol? How would you?