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The Walls of Santiago: Social Revolution and Political Aesthetics in Contemporary Chile

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Volume 30

Protest, Culture & Society

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The Walls of Santiago

Social Revolution and Political Aesthetics in Contemporary Chile

Terri Gordon-Zolov and Eric Zolov

310 pages, 157 color illus., 2 maps, online maps, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80073-255-1 $175.00/£132.00 / Hb / Published (May 2022)

ISBN  978-1-80073-322-0 $49.95/£39.95 / Pb / Published (May 2022)

eISBN 978-1-80073-256-8 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®

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The Walls of Santiago is a rich text with impeccable visual and cultural analyses. It is complex and nuanced but also accessible to readers in and outside the academy…The careful attention paid to intersectional understandings of oppression exhibited by Chilean protesters further added to this richness…It is a compelling and dynamic text that celebrates Chilean art and activism while also documenting such an important moment in the country’s political and artistic history. This exciting book is a must read for scholars, students and activists interested in the intersection of creativity and social justice.” • The Americas

“We are living a new era of protest, organizing, and political engagement. This book is both a testimony of these changes and an extraordinary early effort to make sense of this new reality. It is the result of the authors’ vision and commitment to keep alive a history that was bound to vanish.” • Mónica Ricketts, Temple University

“This is an excellent and unique contribution to our understanding of protest art. It is the first substantive treatment in English of an important social movement and a significant contribution to the political impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.” • T.V. Reed, Washington State University


A photo-illustrated record of Chilean protest art, along with reflections on artistic antecedents, global protest movements, and the long shadow cast by Chile’s authoritarian past.

From October 2019 until the COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020, Chile was convulsed by protests and political upheaval, as what began as civil disobedience transformed into a vast resistance movement. Throughout, the most striking aspects of the protests were the murals, graffiti, and other political graphics that became ubiquitous in Chilean cities.

Authors Terri Gordon-Zolov and Eric Zolov were in Santiago to witness and document the protests from their very beginning. The book is beautifully illustrated with over 150 photographs taken throughout the protests. Additional photos will be available on the publisher’s website.

From the introduction:
In the conclusion, we take stock of the crisis of the nation-state in the contemporary era. This chapter brings events into the present moment, noting the ways President Piñera took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to reclaim the streets of Santiago, a phenomenon echoed in countries across the globe. While most of the global protest movements were forced to go underground (or into the ether), the Black Lives Matter movement surged in the United States and drew massive amounts of support both domestically and abroad, suggesting a continued wave of grassroots protests. We close with reflections on the continued relevance of walls in a virtual world, the testimonial role that protest graphics play, and the future outlook for revolutionary movements in Chile and worldwide.

Terri Gordon-Zolov is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at The New School in New York City. She is former Director of the Gender Studies Program at The New School and sits on the editorial board of WSQ. Her work has appeared in Latin American Literary Review, The Nation, and NACLA, among others

Eric Zolov is Professor of History at Stony Brook University and was a Fulbright Visiting Professor at the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Santiago in 2019. His most recent book is The Last Good Neighbor: Mexico in the Global Sixties (2020).

The authors in conversation with Camilo Trumper for The Brooklyn Rail.

Subject: Media StudiesHistory: 20th Century to Present
Area: Latin America and the Caribbean


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