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    Crafting arts-based stories of exile, resistance and trauma among Chileans in the UK

    Gideon, Jasmine (2024) Crafting arts-based stories of exile, resistance and trauma among Chileans in the UK. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies , ISSN 1369-183X.

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    In 2017 an exhibition of over 100 craft pieces created by Chilean political prisoners held in concentration camps during the military dictatorship of General Pinochet, was launched in the UK along with an accompanying short film, ‘Crafting Resistance: the Art of Chilean Political Prisoners’. In the film, several of the craft makers, who came to the UK in the 1970s as political exiles following their imprisonment, discuss the making of the objects as well as their significance today. Drawing on these arts-based interventions, the paper reflects on the use of craft objects both a symbol of political resistance as well as a means of initiating difficult conversations around forced political exile, trauma and mental health while creating space for people to ‘tell their stories’. Indeed, the paper contends that projects such as Crafting Resistance can ‘care for knowledge’ through the curation of craftwork while simultaneously creating space for counter memories. The analysis also highlights the changing relationship between the craft makers and the craftwork itself and argues that placing the craft objects within the exhibition assigned a new role to the objects as they became part of a display of collective memories and potentially contribute towards collective healing. Finally, the paper advocates for greater recognition of the historical use of craft as a political expression, which to date has been relatively neglected in debates around the use of arts-based research and methods.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Chile, crafts, exile, healing, resistance, trauma
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Jasmine Gideon
    Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2024 13:25
    Last Modified: 13 Jun 2024 00:51


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