The role of women’s dressing in the current social activist movement in Chile (2019–20) | Intellect Skip to content
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Post-Pandemic Dress
  • ISSN: 2050-0742
  • E-ISSN: 2050-0750

Abstract

In the context of the current protests in Chile, women are more empowered than they have been in previous years; they dare to protest freely in the streets to express themselves and demand their rights. They enhance their political message through their bodies by wearing accessories such as blindfolds or hoods. They have transformed these objects into symbols of protest. Women protesting with bare torsos or wearing only bras are some of the meaningful ways that some women are currently expressing themselves politically in Chile. These dress/undressed objects are more than simple pieces of fabric: they express political dissent and women’s vulnerability. This article will consider the role and significance that women’s dressing plays in the current Chilean social movement from different perspectives. This research will analyse clothing through case studies on three women – María, Rosa and Almendra – who belong to feminist collectives that have actively participated in the recent protests in Santiago de Chile. The interviews conducted were anonymized, so fictitious names are presented. María belongs to a collective that carries out performances related to liberation through dance and acting. Rosa and Almendra belong to a well-known collective who, through their characteristic red hoods and dances, express their political dissent by singing songs alluding to revolt. In all cases, textiles are a fundamental part of their characterization and identity formation. This article will ultimately argue that dressing, in the context of protest, is an element of power, both in its role of granting freedom and empowering unity for a collective struggle.

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2020-09-01
2023-09-29
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