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Theatre for Low Opportunity Settlements in North Chile

Inclusive community theatre and history documentation projects in low-opportunity settlements in the north of Chile (Baquedano and Sierra Gorda).

For the United Nations sustainable development goal number 16 they are targeting ‘Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.’ – United Nations Goal 16.

Photo by Amily Galhand

In the Rio+20 conference about the 2030 Agenda for the UN they agreed on a document called Future We Want highlighting the concerns in Latin America. As part of the goal 16 they recognized that, ‘Opportunities for people to influence their lives and future, participate in decision-making and voice their concerns are fundamental for sustainable development’. As part of this right now I am working with cultural and art organisations in North Chile, there goals are to document lost history of this region and highlight that to Chileans, they are using this history to develop theatre and arts in the northern most places of Chile in the Atacama Desert. Going into villages and schools and getting young people to join and form community groups to practice theatre and arts with heritage at its centre. Giving free reign to the communities to use the resource as they wish and help encourage the children to create and highlight their works in many ways to build confidence. Also, with the introduction of highly skilled foreign artist and theatre directors enrich the community arts projects and help to inspire new opportunities and ideas in young people’s minds.

Now we are creating a theatre show about the abandoned train station in Baquedano which will be shown there on the train station site. Research and testimonies have been gathered about people’s lives there. They play is about the train station crossroads that was so important in Baquedano because of the mining in the area and the mass of saltpetre trade, Baquedano used to be a mixing pot of travellers and merchants and miners from all the nearby countries like Bolivia and Peru and the English people that settled in northern Chile.

Video by Diego Sanchez (La Favorecedora)

After this large scale performance at the end of May 2023, of which all nearby villages and cities will be invited to see this spectacle, continued work on enriching the towns and collaborating with the community groups and more research will lead to a larger scale theatre performance expected in November 2023, we have started new initiatives and opportunities in the towns with arts and theatre that will hopefully compliment the people to create more opportunities in Northern Chile.

With thanks to La Favorecedora company, Arlette Ibarra Venezuela, Polo, the community group, and the researchers/testimonies of the people from Northern Chile and Fundacion Cultural de Sierra Gorda.

Thank you for reading, As always I hope it translates well to those translating, hope you enjoyed, if you would like further information about the ongoing community projects and work in Northern Chile you can follow these links ,, or the countless other United nations inclusivity projects you can find them here in this link .

Amily Galhand



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