Chile unveils street art for blind people in Santiago for the first time

Art for All

SANTIAGO – Authorities have put up tactile versions of some of its street art in the Chilean capital city, with the aim of bringing art to all people

“Manos a la pared”, the first circuit of murals for the blind, was inaugurated on Tuesday in capital Santiago.

Although such representations of artwork are common in museums and art galleries, this is the first time this city has created them for street art and murals.

Through touch panels and an audio description of the works through an electronic application, blind people can now access six murals installed in Barrio Lastarria, one of the most tourist areas of Santiago.

One of them is “La Debutante”, by the famous Chilean artist Roberto Matta, located at the entrance to the Museum of Visual Arts (MAVI). To one side of the mural, a tactile plate was installed that represents a scale translation of the surrealist artist’s work, together with a description in Braile language.

The circuit covers several blocks around this neighborhood near the center of Santiago and includes works such as “El jugador del palín”, by Francisco Maturana, or “Ganza”, by Javier Barriga.

Urban art meets cultural heritage in Santiago de Chile

In Chile, according to the II National Study on Disability, 16.7% of the population is visually-impaired or blind, equivalent to some 2.8 million people.

Forty three percent of them declare severe or extreme difficulty to see without optical glasses or lenses, which prevents them from exercising their right to access, know and participate in a large part of the country’s cultural activities.