Activist Photography in Chile: Protest, Media and Oppression

22 Sep 2023

Regular hours

Fri, 22 Sep
18:30 – 20:00

Free admission

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Four Corners

London, United Kingdom


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  • Buses: D6, 8,
  • Tube: Bethnal Green
  • Train: Bethnal Green
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Three activist Chilean photographers discuss their work, military and police brutality and the current media landscape in the country


What does it mean to be an activist photographer? Can the camera be used to support political change? This event invites three photographers to discuss their documentation of the recent protest movement in Chile.

‘It’s not about 30 pesos, it’s about 30 years.’

The 2019 protest movement in Chile was ostensibly about an increase in public transport fares. But thousands of students and workers chanted the slogan, “It’s not about 30 pesos, it’s about 30 years.” The protests were against the limited return to democracy following the Pinochet regime, with widespread inequality, repression of activists and the continuation of dictatorship-era laws. The government reacted with military force, using rubber bullets, arrests, illegal detention and curfews. There are currently 475 cases of people with blindness in one or both of their eyes as a result of rubber bullets, chemicals or tear gas, according to the National Institute of Human Rights.

Collectives such as Migrar Photo and photographers such as Carlos Vera Mancilla, Ignacio Rivera and Nicole Kramm documented protesters in the capital, Santiago, over two years. This event discusses activist photography in the context of Chile today.

All donations for this event will go to the participating photographers to help fund their films and continue their work.

Marcela Pizarro, event chair

Marcela Pizarro was born in Chile, but history intervened and she came to London in the mid 1970s. She has worked in international news since the late 1990s, first as a producer at the Associated Press in London and then as a video journalist across Latin America. She was with Al Jazeera English in Buenos Aires for its launch in 2006, moving to DC and London, working across different shows on the network. Marcela’s path to journalism is something of a detour: she has a PhD in Literature Cultural History – but she concluded that the world of ideas belongs to the public, not to the select few.

Migrar Photo

Migrar Photo is a platform for photographic projects, working in training, communication, editorial and development of authorial works. Through collective organisation, it seeks to generate spaces for multidisciplinary creation that strengthen visual culture in Chile. The team is made up of 12 members, including cultural managers, journalists, photographers and a designer. We aim to reflect on the photographic and cultural work, telling stories that focus on locality, identity, human relations and social conflicts. We consider it essential to question the ways in which we work with photography. It is a cornerstone of our project to take an artistic and political role by reflecting on issues such as gender diversity, valuing culture as an intangible form of heritage.

Carlos Vera, Vera Press

Born in the city of Puerto Montt, 1008 kilometers from the capital Santiago de Chile, he is the brother of seven men and women, and single father of 2 children. He has worked in various media agencies as a photographer, and as a stringer for Reuters for 15 years; also in institutions such as ECLAC, universities and companies linked to sports and soccer. He considers Documentary Photography his alma mater, in which as an independent practitioner he can develop topics of interest to him. Without caprice and pretensions, he considers himself one more chronicler of his time and space.

Nicole Kramm Caifal

Social communicator, documentary filmmaker and photographer based in Chile, Nicole works and reflects on cultural and social issues linked to human rights, ecology, migration, sexual diversity and political conflict. She studied Journalistic Photography and a Bachelor's degree in Film, with a focus on documentary film, and also specialised in Photography and Camera Direction at film schools in Chile and at the International School of San Antonio de los Baños, in Cuba. She works in communications teams as a freelance reporter, photojournalist, producer and audiovisual director in international media. She is currently returning to her documentary film "Balas contra Piedras" about the social revolt in Chile.

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Nicole Kramm Caifal

Carlos Vera

Migrar Photo

Marcela Pizarro

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