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As part of the Mundo Latinx events programme, Fashion Space Gallery and White Line Projects present
Threads of Memory
The event joined artist and activist Jimena Pardo in creating a collective ‘Arpillera’. The workshop focused on her project Bordando por la Memoria (Embroidering for Memory). It analysed the visual language used in ‘Arpilleras’ (patchworks made by groups of women in Chile during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet) and how they act as a platform to reconstruct and visualise memory by representing historical accounts and experiences through textiles.
‘Arpilleras’, a type of collective artwork, are deeply rooted in the experiences of Chilean women, searching for their disappeared loved ones and denouncing injustices in the political turmoil of the Chilean dictatorship of the 1970s and 1980s. Using recycled fabrics and flour sacks, these women stitched their reality in defiance of a repressive and violent government.
Bordando por la Memoria (Embroidering for Memory), which works with ‘Arpilleras’, started in 2018 as a result of a collaboration between Chilean-born Jimena Pardo and East London University and Warwick University, through the exhibition Crafting Resistance. As with many of the ‘Arpilleras’ made in Chile, part of the process of Bordando por la Memoriais working collaboratively with the Chilean community, allowing anyone to create, to express and to heal.
The session started with a brief introduction about the ‘Arpilleras’ and the project Bordando por la Memoria, highlighting the importance of collective artwork within the field of textiles and fashion as activism. Following this, collectively we all intervened, stitched, and made a textile piece that was in direct dialogue with the textiles viewed and based on the discussions as a visual record of the day. We encouraged all attendees to bring with them any scraps of material we could use and/or any materials that have some sort of meaning to them. Alternatively, attendees could bring a textile piece you would like to share or discuss.
Jimena Pardo Zamora is a community artist and facilitator, teacher, and a textile maker. She is a second-generation Chilean who arrived with her exiled parents to England in 1976 at the age of two. Her background is in Fine Art Painting and Art & Society studies, and holds a postgraduate qualification in teaching. For the last 12 years, she has taught art in East London and more recently has worked within the Latin American community in London, contributing to solidarity events such as the Plataforma 12 de Octubre, and Mujeres Generando Cambio.
Through participating with grassroots groups such as Movimiento Jaguar Despierto, London Mexico Solidarity and the Wretched of the Earth on environmental issues, indigenous rights and women’s rights, Jimena Pardo uses art as a platform to express solidarity with Latin America and the migrant community within London.