SUSAN McALLISTER and NAOMI NATALE

Live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Working in Chile.

Project Description: Building on the success of their One Million Bones project the pair will work with Chilean partners to organize a series of community gatherings that excavate the competing, rarely discussed memories of the 1973 coup d’état, culminating into a physical and virtual Constellation of Chilean Memory.

The project, entitled 1973: En la Luz, responds to the unwillingness in Chilean culture to discuss the 1973 coup d’état, and the competing histories created by that silence. On September 11, 2015 Chileans will gather to record memories inside of paper lanterns. The date marks both the forty-second anniversary of the coup and the precise moment that light from Star HD 40307, a star formed in 1973, will finally be visible on earth. Lighting the lanterns and setting them afloat in the night sky offers participants a chance to view their country in a new light. This Constellation of Chilean Memory will be further captured in an online repository that serves as a forum for future conversations.

Update: In 2016, McAllister and Natale are planning a six-week bus tour across Chile to gather stories about the 1973 coup d’ etat that disposed President Salvador Allende. The duo also identified star 58 Eridani, which was created in 1973 and will be visible over Chile this year, as the “metaphoric new light” in which to see this period in Chilean history. On September 11, 2016, the forty-third anniversary of the coup, they will officially launch the project with the release of a set of “memory lanterns.” 


Bio: Both an installation artist and photographer, Naomi Natale is founder and director of The Cradle Project and One Million Bones. She has received numerous awards, including an Arts Healing Network Award (2011), TED Senior Fellowship (2010), and a TED Global Fellowship Award (2009). As former director of the Harwood Art Center, Albuquerque’s largest community arts center, Susan McAllister has developed, produced, and managed an extensive array of arts-based education, youth employment, and community outreach programming.  

You can follow Susan and Naomi’s work here.

Video interview with 2015 Artist as Activist Fellows Susan McAllister and Naomi Natale