project image
Dave Fasano

first performed on October 18, 2020
Around Plaza de la Dignidad, Santiago, Chile
performed once in 2020


Santiago, Chile


How deeply can a Constitution harm a Nation?

No one in Chile knew the depths of this damage until October 2019. On October 18, the population rebelled against an inequality sustained and silenced for 30 years. Precarious health, education, housing, and pension systems found their roots in the Chilean Constitution drawn up in 1980 during Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship. Chile was still being governed by a document written in an anti-democratic era.

With “Descargo y Maleficio,” a multidisciplinary performance project I created in 2018, I’ve been focusing the work into a self-proclaimed genre I called Chilean Tragedy. Using symbols such as the Chilean flag and the national costume splattered with blood, my performances intended to embody the pain suffered by those living in a country that no longer cares about all of its citizens. The Chilean Constitution came next as part of my street performances in 2019, to symbolize how deeply wounded Chile had become because of it.

In “Chilean Mourn,” performed on October 18, 2020—marking the one-year anniversary of the initial social outbreak—I became the tortured soul of every Chilean citizen crushed by the weight of its own unfair system of laws. Walking slowly like a tormented ghost around various locations of Plaza de la Dignidad for an hour during the celebration, I began my tour in silence, with pain and sadness reflected all over my face and body. The mask I wore, which was made out of an authentic copy of the Chilean Constitution, not only serves as a representation of what the entire world is living through during Covid-19 but also as a muzzle, symbolizing the restraining apparatus that was the Constitution under which Chilean people lived their unfair existence for so many years. I also wore a bloody Chilean presidential band wrapped around my head and left eye, symbolizing the systematic failure of the many democratic governments whose reforms didn’t substantially alter this Constitution. The band only covers one eye, serving as a reminder of the many people who were blinded by gunfire from the police during the first weeks of protests.

Later, the ebullient crowd approached me many times and encouraged me to scream different chants with them. Chants full of rage and frustration that were echoes of what was heard during the protests. This photo captures the moment I ceased the pain and proudly became part of the crowd.