S.O.S. - Chilean Tapestries Signal For Help: An Arpillera Case Study

Ms Alina Dawn Padilla-Miller
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Chile is a land known for its abundance of natural beauty, ethic ambiance, and invigorating adventures. Chile is also a land known for its recent survival of a violent and repressive dictatorship. However, this knowledge wasn’t internationally obtained until the Pinochet regime started losing its control. There were many attributing factors to the destruction of the regime, but it was a small group of Chilean women that made their international mark on fighting the dictatorship. Through colorfully crafted tapestries, known as arpilleras, these women expressed their stories by sewing symbolic scenes of everyday life during the murderous regime. Images of torture, destructions, murder, poverty, and sadness exuded these symbolic forms of media. It was the intention of the arpillera case study to examine why these arpilleras needed to be created, what the women’s intention were for creating them and finally assess what made arpilleras a successful form of communication.

Keywords: Arpillera, Chilean tapestry, Lasswell Formula, Symbolic Interactionism, Communication process, Pinochet regime, Exploitation of humans by humans
Stream: Cultural Sustainability, Economic Sustainability, Social Sustainability
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Chilean Tapestries Signal For Help, S.O.S. -

Ms Alina Dawn Padilla-Miller

Graduate Student, Communication/Digital Media, University of Washington

My name is Alina Dawn Padilla-Miller. I am currently a student in the Master of Communication in Digital Media at the University of Washington; prior to this program I obtained a Bachelor of Communication in Recording Arts at the University of Colorado. In the academic institution I have had the privileged of working as a reporter/photographer for university newspapers, working as a curator assistant for the Gallery of Contemporary Art at the University of Colorado (where I first learned of arpilleras), acting as student liaison for American Women In Radio and Television, and serving as Communication Senator for the Graduate Professional Student Senate for two years. Outside of academia, I have worked in live television for a news station, ad designer for community newspaper and marketing/advertising coordinator. One thing however, that has remained consistent in my educational process, I have always enjoyed taking lessons learned in the classroom and then apply them by getting involved in my community. Recently I held a workshop at the Arts of Resistance conference in Seattle on Chilean arpilleras. I have personally created arpilleras wih U.S. politically charged messages and developed a web site dedicated to the education of arpilleras.

Ref: S06P0054