Bordando por la paz
Fuentes Rojas is a group of citizens who came together to highlight the violence that is occurring within the human rights violations that are taking place in Mexico. They hold participatory embroidery sessions in which people stitch the names of the victims of the violence onto handkerchiefs.
Memorarte is an art collective that defends and promotes human rights using large embroideries and apppliqués known in Spanish as arpilleras.
The ´arpillera´ tradition is often associated with textiles of resistance created by women in shantitowns in Chile during the military dictatorship of the 1970s and 1980s. The original arpilleras were covertly exported and sold overseas highlighting the human rights abuses of the dictatorship.
Contemporary arpilleristas work in a bolder way but the artform is still used for social activism.
The members of Memorarte create bandanas, which they wear over their face and large banners which they take on protests as well as smaller items like facemasks and textile compositions.
The Costurero translates beautifully into English as sewing box and sewing group. It is a research seminar at the Universidad Icesi in Colombia. I interviewed Margarita Cuellar Barona about the group, which studies the relationship between textile practices, the construction of femininity, intimacy, feminist pedagogies, art and activism. Margarita runs a reading and sewing seminar as part of the group. Called El club de lectura y costura (the sewing and reading club) it is a space in which textile works are created and discussed, and texts are read out loud at the same time.