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Mending the New

Mending the New: A Framework for Reconciliation Through Testimonial Digital Textiles in the Transition to Post-Conflict Rural Colombia


Photographs by Tania Perez Bustos


This project will develop a framework for reconciliation with communities which have been crafting textiles and have been severely affected by the armed conflict. Rather than just documenting memories of war, textile crafting generates spaces of common reflection and has a healing, restorative and constructive potential that negotiates memory and reconciliation. It is specifically this novel dimension of textile crafting that this project is designed to illuminate. Research on textile crafting offers the unique and exceptional opportunity to investigate reconciliation in a context that brings together everyday practice, the realities of the conflict, the possibility of healing and the rebuilding of the social fabric towards a post-conflict society.

The project will deploy a ground-breaking methodological design in order to elucidate reconciliation through the practice of textile crafting that (1) includes an intensive ten-month long ethnographic study of the processes of crafting (2) a series of public participation events for disseminating the findings of the project and promoting post-conflict reconciliation (3) the development of a set of creative and original technologies that add digital components to the handcrafted textile pieces with the ability to digitally record and reproduce reconciliation stories. One outcome of the project will be the of a compositional material-digital object, a testimonial digital textile, as a novel method for conducting research that can open fresh avenues for research practice within the arts, humanities, and social sciences.


The project is funded by a UKRI Newton-Colciencias ODA Award 2018-2020 (£524,733) – Grant Reference AH/R013640/1

Co-Investigators are: