Sitios de Memoria - Places of Memory

Event type
Exhibition
Date
Monday 10 September 2018
Location

17-25 New Inn Yard

London

EC2A 3EA

Time
18:00 - 20:00
Price
Free
Contact
Tickets
Book online

The exhibition consists of at least 20 “arpilleras” of historical interest, showing detention and torture centres in various parts of Chile between 1973 -1980.

Arpilleras are a traditional form of textile art using “burlap” (disused flour sacks made from cheap cotton) and embroidery techniques to tell a story. Arpilleras were made throughout the dictatorship to record events during the height of the repression. They were smuggled out of Chile and sold to support the families of the disappeared prisoners or those who were detained.

This exhibition of arpilleras describe the history of some of the torture centres and concentration camps as told by those who survived. Most have been made by former political prisoner and survivor, Maria Alicia Salinas Farfán; and some have been made under her supervision in her workshops held in Valparaiso and San Antonio. With her embroidery and knitting skills, Maria Alicia was instrumental in the creation of a craft making workshop in the women’s block at 3 Alamos’ concentration camp.

International condemnation of human rights abuses in Chile, including the arbitrary detention without trial of thousands of political prisoners reached its peak in 1976 forcing Pinochet to close 3 Alamos. Maria Alicia was released but she could not stay in Chile and emigrated to Sweden as a political refugee.

The work displayed has been made to honour all those who have been kept “invisible”. Those who were detained, kidnapped, or disappeared and those who fought clandestinely against the dictatorship.

This work is also dedicated to those who after been savagely tortured, were made to ‘disappear’ from various illegal detention centres and their whereabouts is still unknown and the information denied even after 45 years by the military.

Men and women of all ages, pregnant women and even children who did not survive the cruelty and brutality of the dictatorship.