Please join us in the Bookshop and meet Chilean photographer and curator Luis Weinstein who is presenting a selection of Chilean Photobooks from the last 50 years.
Luis has been a key player as photographer and self publishing artist in Chile since the 1970s and will give us invaluable insights. He will bring with him a range of pivotal publications to illustrate his talk. Here is how he describes his selection:
The earliest is Robert Gertsmann's CHILE, a political propaganda title from 1959. Nice landscapes and industrial investment in a land blessed by the almighty. Then we have 7 different issues of Nosotros los Chilenos, NlCh, published by the government of the socialist president Salvador Allende (1970 - 1973) and focused on establishing a national identity proud of its popular cultural heritage. A very special photobook, printed in these years, under the authorship of Alfonso Alcalde, a talented writer and also the original editor behind the NlCh series, about the accident and rescue of a team of Uruguayan rugby players whose plane fell in the Andes. Vivir o morir excels in graphic design and storytelling techniques to deliver a stunning photobook in spite of cheap paper and binding.
After the very violent coup in September 1973, a different set of political photobooks appear on the scene. The military government is stressing its PR capacities through bilingual - even trilingual - editions to show how order is being restored and the economy healed, in handsome books like Chile Ayer Hoy or Tres años de destrucción. On the other hand there were books - mainly printed abroad - to document the dictatorship crimes. Firstly Neruda, entierro y testamento by the Venezuelan photographer Fina Torres (Printed in Spain); Operación silencio edited in the DDR contained raw images by a pool of international and Chilean photojournalists and reporters. By the end of the 70's, the catholic Vicaria de la Solidaridad printed the series ¿Dónde Están?. With the new decade a new kind of resistance photobook emerged, this time printed in Chile. Some by artists, like the poet Enrique Lihn's Lihn y Pompier or photographers like Luis Weinstein's Ediciones Economicas de Fotografía Chilena. The AFI catalog printed in East Germany is also a testimony of the effort from photographers working during the Pinochet dictatorship.
Finally a couple of books issued during the final years of the dictatorship: One was distributed through the magazine Página Abierta, as a free brochure within the edition. The other one, bigger and better printed in the US, with a larger selection by the same set of reporters, edited under the guidance of the great photographer and human rights activist Susan Meiselas.
Luis Weinstein is based in Santiago/Chile and works as journalist, curator and photographer. He is the co founder and co editor of the South American Photography Magazine Sueño de la Razon, and president of the Fundación SudFotográfica. He has curated several publishing and exhibition projects, among them the photography festivals FotoAmerica and Fotofestival Valparaiso, and major exhibitions in Chile. Most recently he edited and coordinated a publication on Chilean Photobooks, together with, among others, Horacio Fernandez.
Luis also contributed this essay on Chilean photobooks for TPGs Viewpoints series:https://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/content/photobooks-resistance-and-politics-chilean-landscape
Monday 8 July, 18.30 - 20.00, Bookshop
Free event, No Booking.