Art Against Dictatorship: Making and Exporting Arpilleras Under Pinochet [NOOK Book]

Overview

Art can be a powerful avenue of resistance to oppressive governments. During the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile, some of the country’s least powerful citizens—impoverished women living in Santiago’s shantytowns—spotlighted the government’s failings and use of violence by creating and selling arpilleras, appliquéd pictures in cloth that portrayed the unemployment, poverty, and repression that they endured, their work to make ends meet, and their varied forms of protest. Smuggled out of Chile by human ...

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Art Against Dictatorship: Making and Exporting Arpilleras Under Pinochet

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Overview

Art can be a powerful avenue of resistance to oppressive governments. During the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile, some of the country’s least powerful citizens—impoverished women living in Santiago’s shantytowns—spotlighted the government’s failings and use of violence by creating and selling arpilleras, appliquéd pictures in cloth that portrayed the unemployment, poverty, and repression that they endured, their work to make ends meet, and their varied forms of protest. Smuggled out of Chile by human rights organizations, the arpilleras raised international awareness of the Pinochet regime’s abuses while providing income for the arpillera makers and creating a network of solidarity between the people of Chile and sympathizers throughout the world.

Using the Chilean arpilleras as a case study, this book explores how dissident art can be produced under dictatorship, when freedom of expression is absent and repression rife, and the consequences of its production for the resistance and for the artists. Taking a sociological approach based on interviews, participant observation, archival research, and analysis of a visual database, Jacqueline Adams examines the emergence of the arpilleras and then traces their journey from the workshops and homes in which they were made, to the human rights organizations that exported them, and on to sellers and buyers abroad, as well as in Chile. She then presents the perspectives of the arpillera makers and human rights organization staff, who discuss how the arpilleras strengthened the resistance and empowered the women who made them.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jacqueline Adams has worked as an assistant professor of sociology in Hong Kong; senior researcher at the University of Coimbra; and research fellow, scholar-in-residence, and visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley, where she is currently based.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1. Solidarity Art
2. Beginnings: Unemployment and Joining Groups
3. The First Arpillera Groups
4. Arpillera Making in Other Groups and Its Spread
5. Producing the Arpilleras
6. Selling Arpilleras
7. The Buyers Abroad
8. Selling, Giving, and Exhibiting Arpilleras in Chile
9. The Consequences of Arpillera Making
10. Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
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