Conclusion of the workshop for arpillera (burlap)-making, directed toeards womwn from 5 comunities: Meza Coloradas de la Virgen, Baborigame, Cordón de la Cruz y Tepozan in municipality of Guadalupe y Calvo.
It has to be pointed out that this activity was introduced in 1972 by Chilean arpillera-makers, who demanded the search for their loved ones. This is why the programme for the support of Municipal and Communitarian Cultures (PACMYC) – in cooperation whit Alianza Sierra Madre A.C. (ASMAC), through its program for “Community wellbeing”- decided to introduce this activity to 20 women who are victims of severe human rights violations and who have experienced the trahumatic disappearance of their loved ones: sons, spouses and fathers. Extreme violence has causes that some of them live under the conditions of forced displacement.
The project was implemented by the linguistic anthropologist Bianca Islas, who encouraged the participants to express their pain and histories as a form of healing and recovery through the art of embroidery.
Moreover, she explained that her interest in arpilleria emerged due to her enthusiasm for textiles and the interest to learn new techniques and meanings of this art. She mentioned that historically, the art of weaving and embroidery is commonly associated whit conservative gender roles. However, the workshops intend to convert these activities into a weapon of resistance, complaint, and also a tool for healing.
On the other hand, embroidery has been a means to empathize for Bianca Islas and the families of forcibly disappeared and murdered human rights defenders.
The workshop took place during three days. Through the art of embroidery, the women expressed their pain, memories, the essence of their loved ones as well as the problems faced by their communities. The result of the workshop was an encounter where the participants shared their experience with other families who are facing a similar situation. Collectively, they also reflected on hopes for a better future.
The project will be continued throughout the year. To close the cycle of this activity, there will be a presentation of the arpilleras created by women.