Photojournalism exhibition opens Chile’s hidden worlds

A show in Santiago’s Estación Mapocho Cultural Center explores aspects of Chilean society that most Chileans never see, let alone tourists or expats.  

A free photographic exhibition currently hanging in the Estación Mapocho Cultural Center takes viewers on a journey through marginalized sectors of contemporary Chilean society.
Fotografía Periodística Autoral, organized by acclaimed Argentine photojournalist Walter Astrada along with Chile’s union for graphic reporters and the National Council of the Arts, is a project that brings together 11 of Chile’s leading young photojournalists.
True to the adage “a picture is worth a thousand words,” each photographer’s work is displayed without the clutter of explanatory text, leaving the viewer to search the image for context and meaning.
And while the themes are diverse, the focus is on people on the fringe of Chilean society, or aspects of everyday life seen from a completely abnormal angle.
In a series entitled “The Brodway Backstage,” photographer Alejandro Olivares takes an intimate look into a caravan that serves as the changing room for a performing transvestite. One image shows the subject shaving an underarm using the mirror on table cluttered with make-up, another leaning out the caravan door in lingerie.
On the opposite wall the work of Carolina Cortés depicts a group of young men at a funeral, laying roses on the grave of a departed friend or family member. Their chests are bare, displaying prominent tattoos and thick silver chains, but despite their intimidating appearance the subjects become are easy to relate to in their moment of mourning.
Other works delve into the home of a gay couple, the lives of people with Down Syndrome, and families eking out a living on the urban fringe.
The exhibition runs until Sunday, February 5 and then again from February 20 until March 4, in the Joaquín Edwards Bello room. It is open from Tuesday until Sunday from 11 am to 2 pm and 3 pm to 6 pm.
For more information, see the Estación Mapocho website.