Hidden Faces from Chile

One of the main reasons I began writing a series of articles about World Photography around 15 years ago was the strength and vitality of photography that I had seen coming from Central and Latin America, and I decided that as well as writing about various other countries around the world I would begin to tackle the countries of that continent in alphabetical order. It was a task I never completed, and I think the last country before I was sacked (at least in part because of a determinedly international approach which made it harder for my employers to sell space to US advertisers) was probably Mexico – which actually got several articles.

Other countries were much harder to find out much about, and one of the hardest was Chile, where I was able to find relatively little information then on the web, or in the libraries I had easy access to. It was the web that was vital, as I was writing for the web and needed to link readers to web sites they could visit to see photography.

Probably an important part of the reason for the lack of information was the human rights situation, particularly in the 1970s and 80s which my article mentioned. The show currently at the Maison de l’amérique latine in Paris until the end of April, Faces cachées: Photographie chilienne 1980-2015, is called ‘Hidden Faces’, and none of my research on the web led to any of the photographers represented in it. The article on the site is in French, but Google translate may help if you have problems with that. There is more information about the photographers and more images in the press release.

Lensculture has an illustrated feature on the show Hidden Faces: Chilean Photography, 1980-2015 with 9 pictures and text by Elizabeth Temkin, and also links to a documentary “La Ciudad de los Fotógrafos,” but once I found out how to turn on auto-generated subtitles made a little more sense, though at times they add an element of the surreal and some of the 1hr 20 minutes was lost on me.

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