Tapestries of Hope, Threads of Love
This book tells the story of ordinary women living in terror and extreme poverty under General Pinochet's oppressive rule in Chile (1973-89) and how ... Show synopsis This book tells the story of ordinary women living in terror and extreme poverty under General Pinochet's oppressive rule in Chile (1973-89) and how their lives did and did not change following his reign. These women defied the military dictatorship by embroidering their sorrow on scraps of cloth and using their needles and thread as one of the boldest means of popular protest and resistance in Latin America. The arpilleras they made - patch-work tapestries with scenes of everyday life and memorials to their disappeared relatives - were smuggled out of Chile and brought to the world the story of their fruitless searches in jails, morgues, government offices, and the tribunals of law for their husbands, brothers, and sons. Marjorie Agosin, herself a native of and exile from Chile, has spent over twenty years interviewing the arpilleristas and following their work. She knows their stories intimately and knows, too, that not one of them has ever found a disappeared relative alive. Still, many of them maintain hope and continue to make their arpilleras. Even though the dictatorship ended in 1989 and democracy returned to Chile, no full account of the detained and disappeared has ever been offered. This book includes a history of the women's movement, testimonies from the women in their own words, and, for the first time, full color plates of their beautiful, moving, and ultimately hopeful arpilleras. Anyone interested in the history of contemporary Latin America will want to read this powerful story.