Tapestries of Hope, Threads of Love: The Arpillera Movement in Chile

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2008 - History - 175 pages
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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. Marjorie Agosin, 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. This new edition of the book, updated for students, includes a reaction to the death of General Pinochet, a chronology of Chile, several new testimonies from arpilleristas in their own words, and an introduction by Peter Kornbluh. It retains a section of full-color plates of arpilleras, an afterword by Peter Winn, and a foreword by Isabel Allende. Students and interested readers will find the arpilleras beautiful, moving, and ultimately hopeful, and the testimonies a powerful way to learn about the history of contemporary Latin America and the arpillera movement in Chile."
 

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Contents

The Texture of Memory
15
Returning to the Shadows
37
A Journey to the South
70
Weaving My Story
75
TESTIMONIES 19741994
81
Violeta Morales
83
Valentina Bonne
95
Anita Rojas
100
Gala Jesus Torres Aravena
116
TESTIMONIES 20052006
119
Viviana Diaz Caro
121
Gala Jesus Torres Aravena
130
Maria Madariaga and Patricia Hidalgo
139
Charo Henriquez
147
Adriana Rojas
158
Afterword
165

Irma Muller
105
The Mother of Agustin A Martinez Meza
111
Doris Meniconi Lorca
112
Epilogue
171
About the Authors
175
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Marjorie Agosín is professor of Spanish and the history of women in Latin American culture at Wellesley College. She is the author of numerous short stories, books of poetry, and novels.

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