Mural Project: ¿Donde Estan?
As part of the project ‘Responses to Disappearance in Latin America’, TJI Professor Cath Collins teamed up with the Chile’s Victor Jara Foundation, to incorporate creative grassroots festival activities amplifying social demands in Chile to know ¿Donde Estan? – ‘Where Are the Disappeared’.
The Victor Jara Foundation commemorates legendary musician Victor Jara, one of the most emblematic victims of Chile’s bloody 1973 coup and ensuing military regime, under which 3,200 people were killed or forcibly disappeared. The Foundation, run by Victor’s English widow Joan, holds an annual music and arts festival. (https://famvictorjara.cl/)
During the 2018 festival, different generations of survivors and relatives of the disappeared joined a well-known father-and-son musical duo to talk about living with the memory and the legacy of disappearance.
In 2019, the same group decided that it was time to look outward, to the other silenced, invisible, “missing” struggles in a Chile where apparent economic success hides deep injustices. Relatives and survivors invited students, migrants, indigenous activists, and musicians to take a break from the festival’s musical activities, pick up a paintbrush, and talk to their neighbours. Mural artist Heri Tapia designed six large mural canvases, on the themes of racism, migration, indigenous and environmental activism, music and culture, sexual violence, student protests and the search for the disappeared and oversaw the work. The canvases adorned the stadium for the final days of the festival, then became a living “mural archive/ library”, available for loan to groups up and down the country and beyond, who are invited to make the search for the disappeared, and for justice, their own.
Thanks to Open Society Foundations, Universidad Diego Portales Observatorio de Justicia Transicional, Universidad Alberto Hurtado Political Technologies of Memory project for support
Above all, thanks to mural artist Heri Tapia, co-author of two previous Santiago-Belfast mural projects (Belfast International Wall, 2014; Ormeau Park, Belfast 2009)
Thanks also to activist and former political prisoner Haydee Oberreuter, whose own story of survival and resistance can be seen in the 2019 documentary film “Haydee and the Flying Fish” (Dir. Pachi Bustos).
Prof. Cath Collins introduces the mural project (in English)
Cath Collins and artist Heri Tapia introduce the murals (in Spanish)