El Despojo

(The Dispossession) 2019
Villa San Luis, Las Condes, Santiago, Chile
Series Intersubjetividad Urbana

In collaboration with the former residents of Villa San Luis.

Neoliberal expropriation, urban devastation, architecture of destruction, eviction, dispossession are concepts, we have observed in excess for several decades. Villa San Luis is an emblematic place, not only because of the great project carried out by the government of Salvador Allende, as an example of social housing, trying to end socio-economic segregation, but unfortunately also as a slaughter area through looting, perpetrated by the military dictatorship and big businessmen. Practice that is repeated until our days of diverse forms in other communes or regions of the country.

This violation of the right to housing, remains unpunished and disguised in the hands of neoliberal growth, which expropriates in the name of profitable use and profit, delivering land and buildings to the supply and demand of the free market.

To annul, to diminish, to erase the historical memory is one of the most effective weapons of the capitalist domain, which tries once more to finish with this architectural legacy of Villa San Luis, so that there are no traces, so that there is no reflection.

In the village of Villa San Luis there are some settlers placed in a row, separated at a certain distance, looking towards the fence of the Villa. They stay still. I approach each of them. I turn each of them towards the pedestrians and cut with a scissors a rectangle proportional to their homes, in their clothes, at chest height. This second skin is torn from their bodies at the very Uranus Street where the last of the buildings still stands.

Photo-Documentation: Marucela Ramirez M. and Marcela Araya Ramirez