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Knowing through needlework: curating the difficult knowledge of conflict textiles

Andrä, C., Bliesemann de Guevara, B., Cole, L. and House, D. (2019) Knowing through needlework: curating the difficult knowledge of conflict textiles. Critical Military Studies, 6 (3-4). pp. 341-359. ISSN 2333-7494

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/23337486.2019.1692566


Drawing on our experience of commissioning and co-curating an exhibition of international conflict textiles – appliquéd wall-hangings (arpilleras), quilts, embroidered handkerchiefs, banners, ribbons, and mixed-media art addressing topics such as forced disappearances, military dictatorship, and drone warfare – this article introduces these textiles as bearers of knowledge for the study of war and militarized violence, and curating as a methodology to care for the unsettling, difficult knowledge they carry. Firstly, we explain how conflict textiles as object witnesses voice difficult knowledge in documentary, visual and sensory registers, some of which are specific to their textile material quality. Secondly, we explore curating conflict textiles as a methodology of ‘caring for’ this knowledge. We suggest that the conflict textiles in our exhibition brought about an affective force in many of its visitors, resulting in some cases in a transformation of thought.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:87762
Publisher:Informa UK Limited


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