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23.09.2021

Biography of a Covid Cultural Bonus in Chile

The researcher and curator Monserrat Rojas Corradi and the critic and art historian Diego Parra Donoso explain the long process carried out by the agents in the world of culture, arts, and heritage to be recognized as a vulnerable sector in the context of the Pandemic, focusing on a specific aspect of contemporary art guild work linked to the allocation of social aid for their community.

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Notes

  1. Recovering some of the history of this process of labor precariousness of the arts in Chile, one of the causes of this phenomenon could be related to the beginnings of the so-called “Democratic Transition” (1990). In this period, several political parties (including the Christian Democratic Party, who supported the military coup), organized themselves into La Concertación de Partidos por la Democracia (CPD) and governed uninterruptedly for 20 years. The CPD —an agglomerate of several center-left parties — related to the artistic sector from a place that denied the critical potential of its expressions, and simply dedicated itself to thinking of more or less original methods of financing “cultural” activities. It produced, then, a sort of technified culture where research, creation, curatorship, and mediation had no place, an issue that led to a professional deterioration of our sector. What was proposed was a vision of culture in a massive key, where the alienated subjects of the aesthetic experience are nothing more than “cultural consumers”.

  2. Coordinadora Intersectorial Cultural de Emergencia (CICE) was formed under the imperative need to bring together the largest number of arts guilds in order to confront the pandemic and negotiate collectively with the government.

  3. This tool is an iconic targeting method of Chilean neoliberalism, originally devised by the Dictatorship. At that time, it was called “Ficha social” and its function was to optimize the use of fiscal resources only on the poorest population, who were included in a sort of “poverty meter”, and in this way, the notion of “universal right” in Chilean society disappeared: only those who the state considered the poorest had the right to obtain something from it, the rest had to scratch with their own fingernails.

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