Visualizing Indigenous Rights in Chile

In October 2019, massive protests took to the streets of Santiago, the capital of Chile. Among the thousands of images that circulated around the world creating a powerful imaginary map of the popular uprising, one stands out: the Mapuche flag. The Mapuches are one of the main indigenous ethnic groups in the south-central region of Chile and southwest Argentina. In general, the Mapuche movement fights for the recovery of its ancestral territory, for constitutional changes in favor of indigenous rights, and for recognition by the state of their cultural specificities.

On September 4, 2022, voters in Chile chose to reject the proposed new constitution that would have replaced the existing legacy of Pinochet’s military dictatorship. The vote took place after a year of work by an elected constituent assembly and one of its main changes proposed was Chile becoming a plurinational state. This would have meant that the ten indigenous nations in Chile, including the Mapuches, would have had their own representative, legal and electoral system.

In order to understand the historical process that involves the Mapuche people, this event examines the visualization of indigenous rights in Chile. Moderated by Leonardo Carrato, our guests are the photographer Pablo Piovano and the Chilean collective Ritual Inhabitual, comprising the artists Tito Gonzalez and Florencia Grisanti.  Piovano and Ritual Inhabitual present their long-term projects that address the Mapuche issue in complementary ways, and we discuss the impact of the rejection of political autonomy on indigenous communities that have fought for centuries for their rights.

This event was conducted in Spanish and we have published the video with English subtitles.

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