Santiago de Chile gives off both a regal and modern ambiance — from grand works of architecture from the colonial times to contemporary buildings such as shopping malls. And yet, the scenic mountain ranges that border the metropolis makes the urban scenery extra breathtaking. For the traveling adventurer, Santiago is a dream destination. For Lomographer Camilo Jara Cid a.k.a. eldisparorevelado/, the capital of Chile is where home is. He documents the local life in Santiago in its full beauty and reality. Learn more about Santiago from Camilo’s own experiences and artfully-taken street photographs.
Santiago is quite busy, noisy and polluted, as the capital city that it is, there are many shopping centers (malls), too many from my point of view. Currently, many buildings are being built, I would say that there is a saturation of these, some up to 50 floors, it is a shame because houses, old buildings with a lot of history, and other places of unique architecture have been lost just to build these buildings. They are all the same, with very small rooms at quite high sales prices, it is a great business that real estate agencies take advantage of where they buy a small plot of land and build these huge buildings, trying to get as much money as possible.
There are still some places in Santiago that are preserved as little treasures; neighborhoods that still maintain that quieter and not so mechanical life that a capital city takes us to.
Life in Santiago is strongly divided by social classes, on the one hand, they are where the richest people live (From Plaza I̵t̵a̵l̵i̵a̵ Dignidad up) and the most popular part (From Plaza I̵t̵a̵l̵i̵a̵ Dignidad down) which is where I live and where is a great part of my life story.
In 2019 there was a social movement of protests and demands that led us to write a new constitution, this is probably the most important thing that has happened to us, which will help us move forward as a country leaving behind the Pinochet constitution written in times of dictatorship and murders. Hoping in the future that this changes and that not only the richest people have a good quality of life but that we all live better and without going through needs.
Places to eat, being a vegetarian recently I went to a place on San Diego street where they sell hot dogs made of falafel. I don't know if you understand but it is bread and instead of sausage it has these balls made of chickpeas, With the sauces on top, they are quite good and filling, there are very tasty mobile food trucks here in Santiago where they sell sopaipillas, empanadas, you certainly have to try them if you come to Chile. I highly recommend the Bellavista neighborhood, one of my favorites where there are also many restaurants with very variable food.
I think that all of the above that I said makes it a very particular place to live. In 2017 I had the opportunity to travel to Europe for the first time and the culture change was quite impressive, but when I returned to Santiago after the trip I realized that I have a unique connection with this place, it is the place where I was born and where I have lived an important part of my life. It is something that is already part of me whether I want it or not.
Some places I recommend in Santiago are: Cerro San Cristóbal, Cerro Santa Lucia, Barrio Bellavista, Parque Forestal, Parque Fluvial, Templo Bahai, Paseo Ahumada, La Vega Central, Persa Bio Bio, Mercado Central, Barrio Yungay, Barrio Matta Sur.
It has been difficult to find the spaces to take street photography, which is what I really like. We have been completely limited to free mobility around the city, going out and in quarantine. At night there is a curfew at around 9:00 p.m. and walking on the streets is prohibited. As of the moment I write, the curfew is still in effect.
The pandemic here in Chile has got out of control again, the contagion figures remain high despite the vaccination, everything has been handled very badly by the current government, the support for the poorest people has arrived too late and the money they give is too little, people have had to continue working despite the danger of contagion.
There was a moment where this improved a little and I took advantage of going out to take some photos, which are those of Neighborhood Estación Central in black and white with the Holga 120N camera. This pandemic is a historic moment worldwide, we will probably see photos of all this in 20 more years and it will be crazy to think about everything we went through.
Last year I produced a small book called Mi Barrio Chimba Popular that brings together photographs of two communes in Santiago (Independencia and Recoleta) communes that are part of my life history. The book was designed, cut, and assembled with my own hands, its theme is to show how difficult old age is in Chile, and daily life in the slums.
In the future, I would like to put out other photography books showing the different realities that exist in Santiago or other places in Chile.
Want to take us Around the World in Analogue? Drop a line to email@example.com with the subject Around the World in Analogue and share your unforgettable travels with the rest of the community! Read the guidelines here.