The Ithaca College Jewish Studies Program announced that Marjorie Agosin will present “Tapestries of Hope: Chilean Arpilleras,” this year’s Rachel Siegel Lecture, on Tuesday, October 18, at 6:30 pm, in Textor Hall Room 101. The talk is free and open to the public.
Agosin will speak about the acts of mourning and protest exhibited by the women in Chile who created tapestries (arpilleras) using the torn clothes of their loved ones who had been disappeared during the era of the Pinochet dictatorship. Agosin will also introduce the audience to the ongoing tradition produced by the human rights collective in Chile called Memorarte. The arpilleras are currently on display at the Ithaca branch of the Tompkins County Public Library and also within the display cases of the first floor of Gannett Center on the Ithaca College campus alongside the Department of Art, Art History and Architecture.
Agosin is the Andrew Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Wellesley College. She is an award-winning poet, memoirist and human rights activist. Her creative work is inspired by the theme of social justice, as well as the pursuit of remembrance and the memorialization of traumatic historical events both in the Americas and in Europe. She has written about the Holocaust through the portrayal of Anne Frank, as well as the history of Bosnian women during the siege of Sarajevo. Agosin is also a literary scholar whose work has focused on writers such as Pablo Neruda, Maria Luisa Bombal and Gabriela Mistral. She has done research and written about the role of women in Latin America during authoritarian regimes in the 1970s and ‘80s. One of her works, “The Arpilleras of Chile,” has been called a pioneer work on this subject. Agosin has written essays, autobiographical memoirs and a young adult novel with a unified theme of the pursuit of social justice and human rights. Agosin is a recipient of the Pura Belpre Award, the Gabriela Mistral Award for life achievement issued by the Chilean government, and the United Nations Leadership Award.