Chile or Utopian Imagination: On Democracy as Aesthetics

Friday, 10, and Saturday, 11 November

Free, until full capacity is reached.

Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200 and online platform 
200 people
Organised by
Museo Reina Sofía
The Chilean Embassy in Spain
Cecilia Barriga, Tres instantes, un grito (Three Moments, a Scream), 2013. Courtesy of the artist
Cecilia Barriga, Tres instantes, un grito (Three Moments, a Scream), 2013. Courtesy of the artist

Coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of the 1973 coup d’état in Chile, the encounter Chile or Utopian Imagination: On Democracy as Aesthetics examines, across two days, the Andean country’s cultural practices developed today from memories of the dictatorship. The activity falls within the framework of the programme Leave Me Hope: Poetic Encounter 50 Years on from the Coup d’état in Chile, organised by the Chilean Embassy in Spain.

Through poets, artists and creatives, and via different formats, including workshop-lectures, concerts, video art and performances, the activity surveys aesthetic forms and poetic voices from Chile today, underscoring their contributions in the construction of democratic culture.

Analysing the collective inventory of political experiences, emotions, inconclusive desires and historical defeats and aspirations, and from the centrality of art and poetry upon giving them form, Chile or Utopian Imagination: On Democracy as Aesthetics is a critical enquiry into living knowledge and the legacies, exiles, forms of resistance and activations that these memories and aesthetics contain.

Inside the structure of the two-day activity, the visitors in attendance are invited to intervene in the work Todo Chile será tus ojos (All of Chile Will Be Your Eyes), by artist Álvaro Silva Wuth, to be displayed in conjunction with this encounter in the Auditorium 200 Lobby, inside the Nouvel Building.



Cecilia Barriga is a Chilean director, screenwriter and audiovisual producer who has lived in Madrid since 1977. She has documented the situation women face around the world and has explored feminist thought and activism and the construction of identities, both individual and collective. Furthermore, she has closely followed citizen movements such as 15M in Spain, Occupy Wall Street in the USA and the student protests in Chile. Her work has been exhibited internationally in contemporary art museums, on television and at film festivals such as the Indie Film Festivals in New York and Honk Kong, the Mostra de Cinema de Dones de Barcelona, the Festival Viña del Mar in Chile, and festivals in Havana (Cuba), Amiens and Creteil (France).

Elicura Chihuailaf is a writer and poet of Mapuche origin who was awarded Chile’s National Prize for Literature in 2020. His work is chiefly bilingual, in Mapudungun and Spanish, and the foundational nature of his practice fosters the flourishing of Mapuche poetry in a modern, written and bilingual style.

Delight Lab is a studio for art, audiovisual design and experimentation around light, video, space and sound, and is conducted by visual and sound artist Andrea Gana and artist and designer Octavio Gana. Together they carry out interventions related to social and environmental issues, and develop projects with Mapuche communities for the preservation of their sacred territories and spiritual culture.

Elvira Hernández is among the most unique voices in contemporary Chilean and Latin American poetry. Her books, published in Chile, Argentina and Colombia, most notably include ¡Arre! Halley ¡Arre! (1986), Meditaciones físicas por un hombre que se fue (1987), Carta de viaje (1989), La bandera de Chile (1991), El orden de los días (1991), Santiago Waria (1992) y Álbum de Valparaíso (2003). In 2018 she was awarded the Jorge Teillier National Poetry Prize and the Pablo Neruda Ibero-American Poetry Award, among other honours.

Mauricio Redolés is a Chilean poet, musician and performer. In 1975, he became a political exile and moved to England, where he lived for ten years. In London he studied at City University, obtaining an A Level in Sociology, and published his first poetry works and released his first tape, Canciones & poemas.

Alejandra del Río Lohan is a poet whose practice spans poetry on paper and performance, work with children, artistic interventions, video-poems and recordings. She is one of the most representative voices from the 1990s generation in Chile.

Álvaro Silva Wuth is a visual artist who makes small-scale wire sculptures. In 2013, he made the piece Últimas palabras (Final Words), the whole transcript of Salvador Allende’s final speech in one sole 70-metre copper wire thread that was unfolded in front of the Ateneo de Madrid in a ceremony of commemoration to mark 40 years since the coup d’état in Chile. In 2017, he donated the work to the Salvador Allende Foundation and was invited to display it in Santiago de Chile’s Plaza de la Constitución, on 11 September of the same year, opposite the Palacio de la Moneda.


Friday, 10 November 2023

7pm Presentation of Chile, 50 Years: Democracy as Aesthetics
Concert by the Delight Lab collective and presentation by the Chilean Embassy in Spain

Saturday, 11 November 2023

10am Poetic Education: Memory, Healing and Therapeutic Writing/strong>
— Conducted by Alejandra del Río

11:30am Chilean Flag: What Is Poetry for and Which Memory Can Be Made with it?
— Conducted by Elvira Hernández

12:30pm Yesterday September
Video piece, conversation and performance
— Conducted by Cecilia Barriga

4pm Memory and the Social Flare-up of 2019
— Conducted by Delight Lab

5:30pm Mapuche Memory, Ecology and Thought in Chilean Society
— Conducted by Elicura Chihuailaf

7:30pm Concert-performance by Mauricio Redolés