Santiago Turistik / by andrea wolf

Santiago Turistik is born from an art workshop about photography, the city, and visual culture, held for three months with students from two high-schools in Puente Alto. The objective was to see and experience urban life beyond the daily routine, to think about the different images that are constructed around the city and their production of cultural meaning, and to learn to see critically and to interpret the images that surround us.

In this case, the experience starts from the tourist’s gaze of Santiago; the city tourism constructs an image, however, how much of this image coincides with what we see. Moreover, in addition to what is shown, it is interesting what is omitted. Therefore, students – who live in communities that are left out of this picture – made the tour of the Santiago tourist buses using disposable cameras to photograph what called their attention, whatever their gaze was fixed on.

These are the images that make this exhibition. Photography allows the production of a self-image, to organize the space itself, becoming a tool of self-representation that allows the production of narratives and images that are not necessarily within the institutionalized statements.

This exhibition reflects the process and outcome of the workshop: riding the bus, taking pictures, and then thinking about how the city looked, about how they feel in relation to this, what kind of discourse is created and where they are located in this construct.

Thus Santiago Turistik becomes a photographic map that shows us a new form of appropriation of the city to finally ask not only what we see but how we see.