La Victoria: Resilience & Creativity


August 30, 2018 - October 5, 2018


The "Población La Victoria” is one of the most emblematic neighborhoods in Santiago, Chile. Historically, the area has led efforts to overcome poverty and social stigma.These photographs are part of the collective creation La Victoria of Everyone, produced by the SALTO Collective (Lincoyán Parada, Arthur Conning, Teodoro Schmidt, Oliver Hartley, and Samuel Shats).

On October 30, 1958, in an event called La Toma de la Victoria, a group of 1200 families seized the land of La Feria farm. Villagers subdivided the lands, defined the public spaces and built them; formed committees in charge of controlling crime and providing security to the population, and even created a newspaper. Other residents of the Chilean capital were inspired, and demanded housing. During the Pinochet regime, La Victoria was the nucleus of the left.

La Victoria is, as we can imagine, 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 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."

- Gonzalo Leiva, Art Historian

While La Victoria was on view, Faizal Westcott, Urbano Alum and Photographer, led a 3 week Photography workshop which focused on telling the stories of the Egleston Square community through portraits and photographs around the neighborhood. Students got the opportunity to share their art for the first time during JP Open Studios.

About the Artist

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.

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