Ms Roberta Bacic
Independent Curator and International Speaker
Title of Keynote Presentation : Arpilleras in Contested Spaces
Roberta Bacic is a Chilean curator and speaker. She brings the fascinating and politically-significant stories of arpilleras to the conference. Arpilleras - tapestries or quilts sewn by women that 'speak out' visually about political repression and human rights abuses through their stitches - convey processes of resistance, memory and the search for truth and justice in a context of repression.
Since 2008, Roberta has curated more than 30 international exhibitions of arpilleras. Over time, these exhibitions have expanded from arpilleras from Pinochet's Chile, to include expressions of loss, protest and healing from around the world.
Roberta qualified as a professor of Philosophy and English and taught at Universidad Austral de Chile from 1973 to 1981 when she was dismissed for political reasons. From 1982 she worked in Carlos Anwandter German Institute and San Mateo College both in Chile. Between 1993 and 1996, she worked for the National Corporation of Reparation and Reconciliation, the successor to the Truth Commission. During this time she was also a professor in Human Rights at the Catholic University, Temuco, Chile. She then moved to the United Kingdom and took up the position of Programme and Development Officer for War Resisters' International where she worked between 1998 and 2002. She moved to Northern Ireland in 2004.