An indiscreet window: public and private space in La Chiva magazine

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The end of the sixties marks a moment of deep changes in Chilean society. Added to the incipient process of political polarization, the city of Santiago begins to grow disproportionately, with no clear planning, and so does the overall number of the city’s population. At the same time, the process of uncontrolled urban development displaced entire communities, who were forced to gather in makeshift homes at the city’s outskirts, forming communities which proliferated in shanties on the vacant lands. In this context, the humor magazine La Chiva was founded in 1968 by four young Chilean cartoonists.  Through its different sections, such as «Santiago tal cual» or «De La Vega a Vitacura», the magazine became a detailed showcase of the city in transformation. The article will focus on an exploration of some of the most memorable stories, such as “Lo Chamullo” and, especially, “La Ventana indiscreta”, creations of the renowned local artist Hervi, which allow an acknowledgment of the innovative character of the artist’s work in the field of Chilean comics. The constant flirtation with formal exploration, the direct dialogue with social contingency, the interplay with the language of comics, and the city read as a comic strip, are some of the aspects discussed in the text. Likewise, in the light of recent research on the relationships between architecture and comics, the article also aims to account for the particularities of such series and to formulate a reading within the framework of the social, political, and urban context of the time, particularly in the city of Santiago de Chile.

Palabras clave

La Chiva, comics, city.

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