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Muralist Francisco Letelier: Driven by Activism

Francisco Letelier was born in 1973, in Santiago, Chile. After the overthrow of the elected government by Augusto Pinochet, Francisco and his family fled to the U.S. where his father led a movement to publicize the human rights abuses of Pinochet. This led to his father's assassination by Chilean secret police, which was a turning point for Letelier. He and his brother, José, established the "Brigada Orlando Letelier", and began traveling across the country creating collaborative murals. The mural brigade began as a means to reconcile his feelings, but the process of collaboration and storytelling has since continued to propagate and motivate his work as an artist.


Collective Actions
A lot of the work that I do is collecting narratives, collecting stories, going and talking to people.


Business of Murals
On the one hand, in the Chilean mural tradition, we never worried about the permanence of murals because murals were used in a topical way, like posters, it was assumed they would be painted over.


Comings and Goings
We were at the epicenter of violence and gang activity. The corner of 6th and Brooks is notorious. It was the drug corridor where shootouts would occur. Over the years I have picked up boys that have been shot in my back alley.


Comings and Goings
I like Venice because it gives an example of possibility. It's a varied place with all kinds of tendencies.

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