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Chile on the Road to NAFTA, Accompanied by the National Police Band, 1997

Years after the 1973 military coup in Chile, Rosler produced a scathing video showing the relationship between the country’s booming economy during those years, the large U.S. corporate presence and the silence about the victims of fascism. At the southernmost end of South America, Chile had been hailed as a miracle of economic development and was on the fast track to admission into the North-American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). An economic progress that was in stark contrast to the country’s recent history of political repression, the blanket silencing of that historical moment and North-America’s complicity with the fascist coup. What price had been paid for the country’s economic boom? In this line of questioning, Rosler combines music and images in the manner of a video clip. While the band of the repressive National Police plays the Star Wars suite, street musicians sing folk songs. A gigantic upraised fist holds a Coca-Cola can on a highway to Santiago, while the families of the victims write the names of their dead relatives on a commemorative monument. The video’s drive-by style suggests the growing presence of tourism and the internationalisation of the Chilean elite versus the indigenous poor.

Technical details

Original title:
Chile on the Road to NAFTA, Accompanied by the National Police Band
Registration number:
Rosler, Martha
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. Barcelona City Council long-term
Object type:
Audiovisual recording
Single-channel video, color, sound, 10 min
MACBA Collection. Barcelona City Council long-term loan
© Martha Rosler
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