CURATORS*RUNDGANG 2021  

Eyes Never Shut Up 

Lorena Valdenegro + Bárbara Ramírez

„Eyes Never Shut Up“ seeks to reflect the political situation that Chile is currently experiencing. We collected material even sounds or videos of Chileans protesting and then offer the spectators a sensory journey. 

CONTEXT

Estallido Social was the name given to a series of massive demonstrations which developed mainly between October 2019 and March 2020 in Chile. The triggering factor for these events was the fare hike in Santiago’s public transportation system. Following the fare increase, hundreds of students organized to carry out acts of mass evasion on the Santiago Metro. Although the immediate cause can be attributed to the public transportation fare hike, the popular rallies soon exposed its mediate causes: the high cost of living (as of 2019 Santiago was the second most expensive city in Latin America), low pensions, high prices of drugs and health treatments, and general rejection of the entire political class and the institutional discredit accumulated during the last few years, including to the country’s own Constitution. 

The demonstrations unleashed in different regions of the country immediately caused strong police repression and the presence of the military and a curfew throughout Chilean territory. International organizations denounced „serious human rights violations“ by the police in the repression of the protests: brutal beatings, torture, and sexual violence. In particular, there are thousands of people who suffered gunshot injuries, which can be broken down into those hit by pellets, tear gas, and bullets. Likewise, two hundred people have suffered eye damage during the social demonstrations, presenting trauma or injury to their eyes, up to the bursting or loss of the eyeball.

„Eyes Never Shut Up“ is a compilation of audios of the protests in Chile, in a search to transport the sonorous space of the Estallido social. At the same time, these sounds are followed by a video of different eyes of Chilean people, evoking the eyeball damage caused by the police forces. 

Still, Eyes Never Shut Up