As the pink tank army is dedicated to be an international movement ;) I packed my bag to go to another end of the world and live there. Now that I’ve been here in the capital of Chile for five months and all the new impressions calm down slowly, I’m really happy to write about the first d.i.y. show I attended here in the house of neighbours. I´ve never been to Chile before but as far as I know Santiago, I picked the most likeable disctrict of the whole 6 million people capital to live in, the “Barrio Yungay”. Before I came some people (who live in upper class districts and never leave them) warned me about this district, like it was really dirty and poor and because of this it would be very dangerous. But from the first moment I loved all the old buildings, the tiny green parks and the life in the streets.
The house I live in is surrounded by squatted houses on two sides. Some of the squatters just don´t pay the rent and others have more political motives… Like the simpatico neighbours, which squatted a house five years ago and now not only live there but also run a self-governed library and organize actions in the district like movies in the street, music in the parks, theater in the house and so on. Last saturday they organized a concert which (after a huge festival I visited, some more typical chilean concerts and a rockabilly show) made me really feel like home again. The two hours delay, the vegan food, coffee and tea, the atmosphere in the house, the stand with all the stuff to read… All that reminded me on the concerts I had helped setting up in the Rote Flora/Hamburg. The small white cat which was peering behind the drums, the dog which was running around, the fact that no one was smoking, no one was drinking alcohol (because it wasn´t the idea of this event) and the vegan chocolate a girl was selling made it even more familiar.
So far I haven´t heard of any chilean band whose lyrics are in English and most Chileans don´t speak English. And I can tell you, even if you think your Spanish is good (mine is not) it´s really hard to understand the very fast hip hop lyrics, maybe even for Spanish native speakers. I really would like to understand them because the lyrics of the hip hop acts (MC Paso and Profeta Marginal) seemed to be very political and even the sound was great. The following band, Persistencia, played hardcore and I didn’t really understand the two shouters, neither. After all they were not really my cup of tea. But a surprise in the end: I liked the ska band consisting of roughly eight people that was called Skaital! Maybe I haven’t seen many ska bands in my life and I´m wrong about ska but every time I saw one it was the same monotonous beat and people who do this skanking or how they call it. This band however had so many nice ideas, it was really fun to watch them. So in the end a dancing mob was moving from one corner of the library to the other until the police came the second time which in Santiago apparently means you have to pay much (around 140 euros) and the show was over.
A final word about squats in Chile: The legal regulations define that an occupied house can´t be evacuated until the owner or the state are suing. If the occupiers can prove that they lived in a house for 10 years and fulfill some requirements (something like they payed the electricity), they can become the legal owners.
Centro Social Okupado y Biblioteca Sacco y Vanzetti