From the exhibition We Are For Freedoms, February 16 - December 5, 2021
We remember freedom
We remember justice
We remember joy
We remember earth
We remember water
We remember one another
and begin again
There is freedom in the spaces between us.
Freedom we make in relation to one another,
rooted in collective memory,
practiced in the present moment.
It is the fertile ground for the emergence of our collective vision of new futures.
These freedoms are in the making. They remind us that while we aren’t always able to achieve our goals, together, our political practices become spaces for cultivating freedom.
I witnessed this from afar when mass mobilizations swept Chile in October 2019. Catalyzed by high school students protesting metro fare hikes, mobilizations drew millions into the streets to protest systemic economic inequities rooted in the neoliberal economic policies of the military dictatorship. As the protests grew, so did the visible web of interconnected struggles — pension plans for the elderly, access to quality health care and education, indigenous sovereignty, violence against women, state violence, extractive land practices, LGBTQ rights, etc. “Chile Despertó!,” people chanted as they reclaimed public spaces throughout the city and across the country and made them spaces for public dialogue and collective action. A collective remembering of past movements fused with the present moment fueled an awakening.
One outcome: a new constitution written by an elected council of ordinary citizens to replace the one written under military rule. Chileans are writing their future one step at a time, beginning with closing the chapter on the military dictatorship. It is happening in a space held for reimagining and co-creating a democracy where human and social rights are fundamental.
This poster reflects on this process. Images of contemporary social movements are woven together with images from the Unidad Popular to create a collective “we” across space and time. The colors of the Mapuche flag remind us Chile is on unceded Wallmapu territory and that we need to center the voices of indigenous communities in today’s movements for dignity and change. The circle of circles represent the collective and sacred spaces where we create freedom together.
activists; civil rights; climate change; collages; crowds; drums; flags; human rights; indigenous people; justice; LGBTQ; national identity; people; political events; protests; public spaces; revolutions; signs; social commentary; students; suns; symbolism; text; women artists
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