“Around the World in Analogue” is your bite-size guide to the most amazing travel destinations across the globe, as documented by members of the our Community. Today, Lomographer Kayla Falk takes us on an incredible journey to the art capital of Chile.
“Valparaíso, what an absurdity you are, how crazy: a crazy port. What a head of disheveled hills, that you never finished combing. Never did you have time to dress yourself, and always you were surprised by life.” – Pablo Neruda
The ‘Jewel of the Pacific’, the bustling hillside port of Valparaíso is a museum of world-class street art and has served as home to artists among the famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Valparaíso, Chile is unlike anywhere else in the world. This seaside port city found it way through a turbulent history to become the art capital of Chile today. Valpo blossomed during the Gold Rush in the second half of the 19th century, serving as a major stopover for ships traveling on their way to San Francisco. When the Panama Canal opened in 1914 ship traffic to Valpo was greatly reduced and the economy suffered a serious blow. Over the past 15 years, the city has staged a miraculous recovery, attracting artists and cultural entrepreneurs who have set up in the city's hillside historic districts. In 2003, the historic quarter was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Today, Valpo is the art capital of Chile. This city is magical. Colorful houses line every mountaintop, the Pacific sprawls out beneath every vantage point, and the streets are covered with awe-inspiring art. Every inch of the city—every facade, every staircase—is adorned in vibrant colors and designs. Artists roam the colorful alleyways while music pours out into the streets from wide open windows. We passed by one particularly awesome-looking studio and couldn't help but peek inside. The artist popped his head out, smiled, and with a wave of his hand invited us inside his home/studio without a second thought. He let us roam around and showed us some of his incredible work and printing processes, while making fun of our terrible Spanglish.
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