Chilean capital’s ‘carnival of creativity’ sweeps across city

Worldwide event 100-in-a-day flooded Santiago with installations, free activities and workshops.

Artists wrapped commuters in plastic, Pac-man ran amok in a Las Condes mall and some sleep-deprived men tried to have a nap in the street — Welcome to Santiago’s 100-in-a-day, an intriguing event of collective creativity where citizens make a statement, engage passers-by or simply entertain through more than a hundred little acts.

Part of an international art movement where city-dwellers come together to re-think and transform the urban environment through activities, installations, exhibitions and workshops, 100-in-a-day brands itself a “carnival of creativity”.

Alongside cities from countries as far afield as Canada, Denmark, and South Africa, Santiago showed its creative side by hosting events varying in both their theme and their location, with acts taking place in the majority of the city’s neighborhoods.

Despite being called 100-in-a-day, residents of the Chilean city went above and beyond presenting 120 activities, preferring to take the very Chilean option of abounding in creativity rather than being held back by conformity.

Alongside one-off installations —  a rainbow painted onto a bridge, magazines folded to resemble leaves hung upon trees along Santiago’s main thoroughfare  — the event hosted numerous established creative companies who offered participants a chance to try out their tours for free.

One of those artistic groups was Foto Ruta, a popular tour that invites photographers of all abilities to explore the streets of Santiago using their cameras to gain a different perspective on their surroundings. As well as tours of the city’s many picturesque neighborhoods, the company also runs other workshops and even a clue-based photography treasure hunt.

Head of Foto Ruta Chile and professional photographer, Cat Allen, explained the concept behind the tour.

“Foto Ruta is about getting under the skin of the city, seeing the details that we usually walk by, and getting more creative with photography, whatever your camera, and whatever your level of experience,” Allen told This is Chile, adding that taking part in 100-in-a-day was an obvious choice for the company.

“I love that Santiago as a city has more and more things happening, not only for artists to participate in, but for the general public to enjoy also, so I jumped at the chance to have Foto Ruta as one of the interventions.”

According to Allen, creative events such as this are only one part of a broader artistic development helping to establish the Chilean capital on the international map.

I think the art scene in Santiago is incredible, it is a city with a longstanding artistic history, and festivals like 100-in-a-day are just one element of that,” said Allen. “Everywhere you look there are new installations, sculpture, street art, etc. as a photographer here there is constant inspiration, and a lot of talent to enjoy and learn from.”