Chilean Protest Murals

Mural depicting a man and woman in a prison cell. Avenida Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins, Santiago, Chile, ca. 1989. Andrés Romero Spethman, photographer. Part of the Chilean Protest Murals Photograph Collection, Widener Library.


Many hundreds of protest murals were created in Chile during the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). The photographer Andrés Romero Spethman worked alongside muralist brigades representing political parties such as the Partido Socialista and the Izquierda Cristiana. Created in and around Santiago between 1983 and 1990, the murals document the spirit, force, and iconography of political protest during an important period of Chilean history. Common pictorial themes were the Moneda Palace in flames, images of the deposed president Salvador Allende, the martyred musician Víctor Jara and the poet Pablo Neruda. Most of these murals were destroyed by government authorities soon after their creation. Andrés Romero Spethman's negatives have been cataloged and digitized and are available through VIA.

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