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Symbols of Resistance: The Legacy of Artists under Pinochet

A lecture by Joanne Pottlitzer

I offer a lecture based on my book, Symbols of Resistance: The Legacy of Artists under Pinochet, accompanied by a power point with visuals, music, and video clips. The talk capsulizes memories of artists (in most genres) during 17 years of dictatorship in Chile, 1973-1990, their lives, and their strategies to create change. Artists included in the talk are essentially theatre and music artists and members of the escena de avanzada visual arts movement, including CADA, the Arts Actions Collective. One of its founders, Lotty Rosenfeld, describes several of CADA’s large “art actions” on the streets of Santiago, and its “NO +” symbol, which anticipated the design of the ballot of the 1988 national plebiscite, with the YES or NO vote, that said NO to eight more years of Pinochet as president.

The importance of women to the resistance is evident in the talk. “Coverage of that period always alludes to the women’s movements as a fundamental part of overthrowing Pinochet. The subject is raised as the “principled reservoir” that Chile had. Women were there, they were present, they took charge—women connected to human rights, women of the women’s movement, and feminist women. We were also were in the streets, we were in the streets.” (Sonia Montecino, anthropologist/writer) The program is informative and moving, often with unexpected humor.


Time: One hour, 10 minutes (including video footage)


Joanne Pottlitzer’s provocative talk, “Symbols of Resistance,” augmented by unique audio and video segments that provide visceral insight into life under the Pinochet regime, is a moving testament to the power of art and artists to change society.

-- Joan Channick, Associate Dean, Yale School of Drama

Joanne Pottlitzer’s illuminating presentation shows how artists helped to shape history during one of the most infamous periods in our hemisphere’s recent past. Her talk focuses on visual and performing artists working for social change in Chile. At Arizona State it generated a rich, cross-disciplinary discussion with students and faculty from across campus -- in the humanities, cultural studies, social and political sciences, and justice studies.

-- Tamara Underiner, Director of Graduate Studies, School of Theatre and Film, Arizona State University.

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