International Conference: Exhibition
Textile Accounts of Conflicts
The Textile Accounts of Conflicts exhibition was specially commissioned for the Accounts of the Conflict International Conference. In it women from all over the world bring us first hand testimony in textile form of their lived experience of conflict. Using needle, thread and scraps of fabric, women, working individually or in groups, recount in chilling detail the destructive and multi-layered impact of conflict on their lives and the lives of their communities and the challenges and opportunities faced by post conflict societies.
This collection of textiles comprised of quilts, wall hangings and arpilleras, (three dimensional textiles from Latin America, which originated in Chile), is drawn from Northern Ireland, England, Spain, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Afghanistan, Palestine, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Germany, Brazil, Canada and Colombia. The powerful and in-depth way in which arpilleras facilitate the uncovering of conflict related issues is aptly captured by Isabel Allende in the foreword to Tapestries of Hope, Threads of Love: The Arpillera Movement in Chile, when she states: “With leftovers of fabric and simple stitches, the women embroidered what could not be told in words…” (2008, Agosín, M., second edition).
Textile Accounts of Conflicts in bringing forth what cannot be told in words enables these women to occupy a centre stage, engage with and challenge the viewer to perhaps consider conflicts from a different perspective.
During the conference participants had an opportunity to hear from the curator Roberta Bacic and the new quilts website on CAIN that will be launched in the near future.
The Textile Accounts of Conflicts exhibition is supported by the Psychology Research Institute at University of Ulster.
Roberta Bacic, curator Breege Doherty, assistant curator www.cain.ulst.ac.uk/conflicttextiles September 2014