Stony Brook University associate history Professor Eric Zolov and his family found themselves amid civil unrest in Chile. While the violence and havoc were devastating, something beautiful came out of the protests — estallido artístico.
“Tu normalidad es privilegio,” is graffitied over an entire wall along the Nueva Providencia Avenue in downtown Santiago. After six weeks of nearly continuous street protests and a growing tally of the dead and wounded, the debate over “a return to normalcy” has taken center stage here in Chile.
“Ta-ta, ta, ta, ta.” That’s the beat of protest, heard at random on the streets. It grows louder as one approaches the center, and reverberates off apartment buildings in the evenings following the start of a curfew. A simple banging of a spoon on a pot: the symbol of a peaceful protest.
We’re living in a different country from that of last Thursday. No one saw this coming. The media, colleagues and friends — everyone is trying to come to terms with what happened, what it means and where the country goes from here.