Hecho en Casa – Mural Magic

As I mentioned in my previous post, Lastarria was recently the centre of Santiago`s first Urban Intervention Festival which transformed the neighbourhood into an exciting hub of art, colour and creativity, along with a few strange sights such as giant cardboard robots and 10m tall blow up statues. But not all the interventions were temporary. Many of the grey or randomly graffiti`ed walls have permanently been transformed into new murals by well known artists from Chile, Peru and other countries. During the week it was interesting to walk around the neighbourhood and see the walls slowly change, first a coat of base paint, then the outline of the design and finally, over a few days, the adding of colour and detail.

Considering that last week was incredibly hot here in Santiago, I admire the teams of people working tirelessly on their murals. Thank you to all the artists who took part for making my neighbourhood even more beautiful than it already was. I have to say again how privileged I am to live where I do.

The first day`s work on the mural by Elliot Tupac, a Peruvian designer/muralist along one part of the northern bank of the Mapocho River.


The finished mural.

The start of the mural in GAM by Colectivo Brigada Ramona Parra. This group was started in honour of a young militant from the Communist Party of Chile who was killed during a protest in 1946. Their distinctive style can be seen in murals in many barrios around Santiago.

The finished mural depicting typical labours in Chile such as fishing and mining.

Part of the mural referring to the ongoing struggle by Chilean secondary students fighting for a free and quality education system.

I think this is my favourite mural, right outside the Metro station I use. It was done my Alejandro Gonzalez, one of Chile`s most famous artists. This mural is called “Salud a la historia” (Salute to History).

This mural is by Macarena Yáñez. It has transformed a really tatty wall which was used to display events posters into a colourful artwork. This may sound negative, but I just hope it stays this pristine for a long time to come…

This colourful depiction of Santiago by Payo Söchting brightens up one of the walls of the amphitheatre in GAM. The great thing about this mural is that anyone who wanted to help out and paint a part of it was free to do so. Collective muralism!

This close up of one part of the mural shows Plaza Italia with the giant arrow (“You are here”) and the cardboard robot from the Festival. See my previous post for more about these two interventions.

These photos are just a glimpse of the permanent reminders in Lastarria of the first Urban Intervention Festival. However, the festival was limited to the centre of the city and yet art is something that should be shared throughout the city. That is why as part of the festival I went on a bike tour to see an outdoor mural museum in a part of Santiago I had never before visited. This will be the topic for my third and final post on the Hecho en Casa Festival…coming soon!

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