Contrasting/Paradoxical Narratives From Chile
What Does It Mean To Hold Both? by Julianna Gwiszcz, MSSW, Phd
In the Transformations 2019 conference session I co-facilitated with Bruce Goldstein, Gail Francis, and Glenn Page called “Change Agents: Our Work Within Transformation Systems” we discussed the ways in which we experience and navigate paradox personally and in our transformations work.
This paradox theme has since been very apparent in the situation in Chile. I wanted to highlight some of those paradoxical narratives through a bit of visual storytelling above. So much of the media is sensationalizing violence and placing blame on protestors whilst downplaying the injustice and violence perpetrated against the Chilean people. Rather than focus solely on stories of suffering and hate, I think it is important to remember and celebrate the alternative narratives of beauty, hope and undeniable resilience living and breathing amidst the destruction. These qualities are what have and will continue to transform Chile for the better.
Please click through the narrative gallery above for these contrasting stories.
I should also note that in reviewing the photos I took while in Chile last week, it was clear that I tended to explicitly seek out the peaceful, hopeful, and beautiful elements of Santiago and Chilean culture. Perhaps this is yet another sign of the privilege I had to remove myself from the heart of the storm even while still in Santiago, which was also my own coping mechanism? Or perhaps it indicates the gratitude and hope I have for Chile and its remarkable, inspiring people? Maybe both? Either way, I want to thank my co-contributor for allowing me to include some of his photography so as to better capture some of the contrasting narratives present currently in Chile.
Note: For the purposes of protecting identities, I (with permissions from the original photographer) chose to blur some faces or crop out parts of photos that could be deemed as easily identifiable. This is in no way meant to demean or diminish the brave contributions of the protestors and photographers who captured their fight for justice in action, nor the peaceful actions of local Chileans who were not caught up in the fray but, rather, to ethically error on the side of caution.
Photos and text by Julianna Gwiszcz, MSSW, Phd (reuse: Creative Commons BY-NC-ND) with additional photos primarily Festina Lentívaldi, (Be) Benevolution (Creative Commons BY-NC 3.0 US). Plus, please note two exceptions in the visual narrative slide show above. Please consult the original photographer (see photo credit) if you would like additional information.