Chile Despertó, Spaces of Protest


16 – 25 June 2022

What can civil society do when caught in an economic experiment? Benjamin Bräuer and Kjell Wistoff focus on the political protests in Chile in 2019/2020 and explore the digital and urban practices of collective resistance. Their protest lab at Ebertplatz will be open to visitors:inside from June 16-25, 2022.

“Chile Despertó” (“Chile has woken up”) is one of the central protest cries directed against the neoliberal policies of the last 30 years. Behind the flare-up of protests in 2019 lies more than just a fare increase: upon closer examination, it becomes clear that the people’s rage is directed against the constitution stemming from the Pinochet dictatorship, which brought about the country’s social ills.

The exhibition of the same name at Ebertplatz is dedicated to the different forms of action of this protest and deals with communication as well as physical action and the transformation of the street into a performative space. With the help of open source research and open interviews as well as the use of audiovisual methods of design research, the protest strategies and formats of the “Primera Línea” are traced – those activists who have made it their task to protect the demonstrations and to practice civil disobedience against police interventions. To what extent do their hybrid spaces of protest create new possibilities for the emergence of publics? What role do the images of their protest choreographies circulating online play in street space?

In the protest lab curated by Justus Schomann at Ebertplatz, the transformation of public space into a political commons is made visible. The project works with investigative practices, whereby the material to be evaluated is first produced by bringing together ano-nymer video data and eyewitness accounts and then translated into diagrams and experimental maps. This raises the question of what other, counter-hegemonic perspectives can be gained through drawing analyses of open-source material.

Works by Benjamin Bräuer and Kjell Wistoff
Photographs by Maximilian Beck and Benjamin Bräuer
Curated by Justus Schomann with the support of Raphael Klug

Place: Project space community Cologne, Ebertplatzpassage, store 7, 50668 Cologne
Vernissage: Thu, June 16, 2022, 6 p.m.
Opening hours: Fri, June 17 – Sat, June 25, 2022, daily 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Designers in Presence: Wed., June 22, 2022, 6 p.m., tour & closing with drinks

An event of the “Open Universities” of the TH Köln and the University of Cologne, sponsored by the RheinEnergie Stiftung as part of the focus topic “Society and Digital Transformation”.

Image Credit: Maximilian Beck, Santiago de Chile, 2019.

Funded by:
Kulturamt der Stadt Köln