The Parque Cultural Valparaíso (Valparaiso Cultural Park), a repurposed space that previously served as a public prison, stands today as a major cultural centre of Valparaiso (Chile). The centre houses facilities for dance, music, theatre and circus performance, and has helped promote dialogue among the community and encourage local cultural practices through fairs and street theatre. In March 2013, the centre hosted a multidisciplinary cross-border artistic project ‘Of Bridges and Borders’ that united more than 20 artists from all corners of the globe in concerts, exhibitions and creative interventions at the centre and throughout Valparaiso. One of the works, the 900-metre-long mural ‘To Pablo’ by Ai Weiwei, paid tribute to Nobel Prize-winning poet, Pablo Neruda, as a testimony to the power of culture to transcend borders and bring people together, regardless of background, gender or beliefs. The mural helped raise awareness of the importance of the cultural park, which previously had not benefited from significant governmental support, and highlighted its contribution to fostering inclusion, building bridges between cultures and providing a source of knowledge.
Source: Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, report for Study Area 8