Monthly Archives: November 2013

“Hanging out”

Poking out behind a white wall, metal scaffolding reaches as high as the trees. Stage lights are secured to some corners, and braided fabric of various colors dangles from the highest rungs. It’s an odd sight because one doesn’t usually see aerialists flipping around in a residential neighborhood. But here you can.

The setup is for the aerial arts school, 7Siete, that is based out of the owner’s, Juan Pablo Vásquez Heap’s, home. There he and his partner teach a variety of aerial arts, including pole dancing. Each time he conducts class, his students drag giant mats from inside to protect them from falling on the hard ground. Before climbing the silks or spinning in the hoops, students warm up for at least an hour. Then they turn on the lights so the students can see as the sun goes down and they’re finally able to play.

Juan Pablo Vásquez Heap crawls over the scaffolding in his yard to release silks for his class to practice their aerial movements on Oct. 2, 2013 at 7Siete, an aerial arts school, in Santiago, Chile. His school is also his home.

Juan Pablo Vásquez Heap crawls over the scaffolding in his yard to release silks for his class to practice their aerial movements on Oct. 2, 2013 at 7Siete, an aerial arts school, in Santiago, Chile. His school is also his home.

Students in an aerial acrobatics class practice silks and hoops on Oct. 2, 2013 at 7Siete, an aerial arts school, in Santiago, Chile.

Students in an aerial acrobatics class practice silks and hoops on Oct. 2, 2013 at 7Siete, an aerial arts school, in Santiago, Chile.

Aerial acrobatics students practice silks and hoops while others watch on Oct. 2, 2013 at 7Siete, an aerial arts school, in Santiago, Chile.

Aerial acrobatics students practice silks and hoops while others watch on Oct. 2, 2013 at 7Siete, an aerial arts school, in Santiago, Chile.

Juan Pablo Vásquez Heap and his partner, Ivana Vargas, practice a duo series on silks on Oct. 2, 2013 at 7Siete, an aerial arts school, in Santiago, Chile.

Juan Pablo Vásquez Heap and his partner, Ivana Vargas, practice a duo series on silks on Oct. 2, 2013 at 7Siete, an aerial arts school, in Santiago, Chile.

Juan Pablo Vásquez Heap and his partner, Ivana Vargas, practice a duo series on silks on Oct. 2, 2013 at 7Siete, an aerial arts school, in Santiago, Chile.

Juan Pablo Vásquez Heap and his partner, Ivana Vargas, practice a duo series on silks on Oct. 2, 2013 at 7Siete, an aerial arts school, in Santiago, Chile.

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Sueños para Chile

Every day in Chile I encounter something new. This time it was a campaign effort for one of Chile’s presidential candidates, Michelle Bachelet. A string, held up by various people, stretched along a few blocks in front of the cultural center. On it hung dreams for Chile’s future written on colorful paper.

Chile has quite a few candidates, but two women, Michelle Bachelet and Evelyn Matthai, who respectively represent the left and right side of the political spectrum, seem to be the strongest. The women also have an interesting connection as childhood friends gone awry. During the Pinochet regime, Bachelet’s father was tortured to death in a military academy basement where Matthei’s father was a senior figure.

But despite a divide between the left and right, similar to the political gap in the United States, it seems to me that most Chileans want a new constitution, in order to redefine a system created during the dictatorship, and more financial support for education.

Here are a few photos from the artistic campaign:

Supporters for Michelle Bachelet, the Socialist candidate for Chile's 2013 presidential election, created a line of wishes for Chile's future outside GAM, Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center, in Santiago on Oct. 3, 2013. They invited anyone walking along the street to add their wishes for Chile. Many wishes included a new constitution and free education for all.

Supporters for Michelle Bachelet, the Socialist candidate for Chile’s 2013 presidential election, created a line of wishes for Chile’s future outside GAM, Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center, in Santiago on Oct. 3, 2013. They invited anyone walking along the street to add their wishes for Chile. Many wishes included a new constitution and free education for all.

Mladenka Sanchez and Carlos Muñoz share a laugh of relief after Sanchez recovers her wish for Chile that had blown into the street. Supporters for Michelle Bachelet, the Socialist candidate for Chile's 2013 presidential election, created a line of wishes for Chile's future outside GAM, Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center, in Santiago on Oct. 3, 2013. They invited anyone walking along the street to add their wishes for Chile.

Mladenka Sanchez and Carlos Muñoz share a laugh of relief after Sanchez recovers her wish for Chile that had blown into the street. Supporters for Michelle Bachelet, the Socialist candidate for Chile’s 2013 presidential election, created a line of wishes for Chile’s future outside GAM, Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center, in Santiago on Oct. 3, 2013. They invited anyone walking along the street to add their wishes for Chile.

Supporters for Michelle Bachelet, the Socialist candidate for Chile's 2013 presidential election,  created a line of wishes for Chile's future outside GAM, Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center, in Santiago on Oct. 3, 2013. They invited anyone walking along the street to add their wishes for Chile.

Supporters for Michelle Bachelet, the Socialist candidate for Chile’s 2013 presidential election, created a line of wishes for Chile’s future outside GAM, Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center, in Santiago on Oct. 3, 2013. They invited anyone walking along the street to add their wishes for Chile.

Luz Encina holds of a section of wishes for Chile's future. She believes Bachelet can make the changes, such as a new constitution, she wants for Chile. Supporters for Michelle Bachelet, the Socialist candidate for Chile's 2013 presidential election, created a line of wishes for Chile's future outside GAM, Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center, in Santiago. They invited anyone walking along the street to add their own wishes for Chile.

Luz Encina holds of a section of wishes for Chile’s future. She believes Bachelet can make the changes, such as a new constitution, she wants for Chile. Supporters for Michelle Bachelet, the Socialist candidate for Chile’s 2013 presidential election, created a line of wishes for Chile’s future outside GAM, Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center, in Santiago. They invited anyone walking along the street to add their own wishes for Chile.