Contra la amnesia del rigor was an artist residency based in the village of Caleta Tortel (Aysén region, a part of Chilean Patagonia) within the context of a national programme of collaborative practice residencies organized by the RedCultura programme, a part of the then Consejo Nacional de Cultura y las Artes (National Council for Culture and the Arts) and now Ministerio de las Culturas, las Artes y el Patrimonio (Ministry of Cultures, the Arts, and Heritage).
These residencies are production-based, and the products created need to be made/implemented through collaboration between the resident and people from the local communities. The main goal is to challenge or restructure the relationships between the different participants.
In this context, Contra la amnesia del rigor was based around the participant’s need to value their own history. Because this area only begun to be settled during the 1940s, youth of the village has people questioning and trying to establish their own local history and identity. We created three main products: the central one was a radio show broadcasting self-narratives of different women from the community. The interviews were recorded in the women’s homes, and then broadcast on the local radio. There was one different programme every week, and it was repeated 3 days per week. Each week the show would feature one or up to three people’s narratives, depending on the length of the interviews. There are 10 different episodes in total. The participants agreed for their testimony only to be broadcast on the local radio, so there are no audio files here nor anywhere else on the internet. The radio keeps a hard copy and the segment has been re-emitted after the residency by listeners’ requests.
At the end of the residency all the audio files were compiled and became the central part of 3 sound installations on the pergolas the village has along the coast. A speaker was connected to a motion sensor, so whenever someone walked into the pergola, the voice of one of the women would start telling their story. Sometimes dogs walked in and out, activating the sensor, but allowing the women’s voices to speak to no audience, their voices getting lost in the wind. The other products were a publication documenting the graphic work of local artist Eduardo “Yayo” Velazquez, and a video featuring the work of sculptor and carpenter Augusto Hernández.
The process of the residency was recorded in artists logs and impressions available here. There is also a journal publication which describes the process within a theoretical relational and systemic framework. The article may be found in the Revista de Aysenología (year4, Nº5), a journal edited by the regional museum.