La Victoria: Resilience & Creativity, an exhibition of photographs by the SALTO Collective examining issues of belonging and identity in their home city of Santiago, Chile, will be on view at Urbano Project starting August 30.
An opening celebration will take place on Sept. 5 from 6 to 8 om, with a talk by Chilean-American writer and human rights activist Marjorie Agosin. The exhibit runs through Oct. 5.
Urbano is presenting La Victoria as part of a series exploring the themes of Resilience and Sustainability. The "Población La Victoria" is one of the most emblematic neighborhoods in Santiago, Chile. Viewers can imagine La Victoria as a small town with unique characteristics within the big city. This series of photographs reflects the daily life of a group of neighbors whose main legacy is community coexistence.
The featured works are part of a collaborative creation produced by the SALTO Collective (Lincoyán Parada, Arthur Conning, Teodoro Schmidt, Oliver Hartley, and Samuel Shats).
La Victoria settlement in Santiago, Chile recently observed its 60th anniversary. One of the first organized, massive occupations of urban land on the South American continent, the community has built an alternative city, initially in defiance of a dictatorship, and today, continuing to find ways to break out of a neoliberal model. The neighborhood is marked by mural after mural displaying the inspiring history and ideology of the community.
In the words of historian Gonzalo Leiva, "the La Victoria population forms a space that not only cemented homes, but also generated a strong sense of belonging and identity. For this, the photographic exhibition is an aesthetic exercise, a coherent work of documentary and artistic record. It seeks to synthesize in images, like a kaleidoscope, the structuring fragments of population dynamics, because La Victoria, with its particular social, political and cultural modes of life, dispenses energy and testimonial luminosity."
Samuel Shats was born in Santiago, Chile, and holds an Engineering PhD from Tel Aviv University. He worked as a teacher, researcher, and entrepreneur before dedicating himself to photography. His photographic career began in 1969 when he joined the Chilean Photo Cine Club, an institution he chaired from 1994 to 1996. In 1983 he began to develop his personal photographic projects. He has exhibited in more than 17 individual exhibitions and 30 group exhibitions in Chile, Israel, Argentina, Brazil and the United States. In addition to his creative activity he has been a judge, curator and teacher and has directed a photographic creation workshop for years.
Urbano, is located at 29 Germania St., Jamaica Plain, and is open 1 to 6 pm Tuesday through Friday and by appointment. Visitors can also view the exhibition during JP Open Studios on Saturday, Sept. 22, when Urbano Youth Artist photography will be on view. If you are, or know, a youth interested in photography, Urbano is holding a workshop with Faizal Westcott on Saturdays, Sept. 8 and 15; visit urbanoproject.org to apply.