Out Gallivanting – Sewing Resistance: Teaching through Chilean Textile Art – Foyer of Sir Duncan Rice Library, 10 Oct 2019-31 May 2020

As the exhibition explains:

“when Patience Schell, Chair in Hispanic Studies, wanted her course on women’s history in Chile and Mexico to help students connect with the people they were learning about, she asked students to make arpilleras ( fabric tapestries) and write about the process as part of their assessment.” 

The end result forms an engaging, fascinating and informative display. Spanish and Latin American Studies students chose subjects such as the Mexican Revolution 1910-1917, the march of the Empty Pots 1971, the death of Marta Lidia Ugarte in 1976, the impact of agrarian reform on women, education, the Disappeared, and the murder of women. Each arpillera had an explanatory note about the topic it represented. 

One of the students explained:

“Using my hands to depict an event made it feel more pressing and less distant. It felt crucial to depict not only the facts but also my horror and incomprehension.” 

I found myself intrigued by the ways in which the students had used colour and form to interpret history. 

You can find out more about the exhibition here – https://www.abdn.ac.uk/events/15095/

Alison McCall (Convenor)

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