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Chile Lucha


The video was made in response to the military coup that occurred in Chile in 1973. To mark the first anniversary of this outrage, one of the Chilean refugees living in England, Cecilia Vicuña together with a small committee invited artists to contribute work to an exhibition and series of events called Artists for Democracy. I took a Portapak to a demonstration in Trafalgar Square, London marking the first anniversary of the military coup and got into a good position to record the events - speeches and performances by Inti-Illimani. Towards the end of the event I noticed a friend of mine, John 'Hoppy' Hopkins, down in the crowd also with a Portpak. A media activist of many years, he had a studio, Fantasy Factory, just around the corner, and enthusiastically agreed to share the video material he had shot for the AFD project. Editing technology for analogue video was quite crude in those days which accounts for the variable quality of the tape today. But we both associated with artists and community co-operative workshops (film and video), the essential objective being that we made and distributed work independently of the dominant media channels.

The finished tape was shown on a monitor screen at the Royal College of Art exhibition - there were no video projectors at that time – and subsequently was distributed to student and trade union groups. Collection:the Museo dos Memoria y Humanos Dereche, Santiago, Chile.