Unveiling of Reconstructed Mural “Terror and Resistance in Chile”

Recently an unveiling ceremony was held in front of the University of Bremen's Building GW1 (Block A) for the refurbished wall painting bearing the title "Terror and Resistance in Chile". The mural depicts the situation of the politically suppressed Chilean people in the aftermath of the military coup d’état in September 1973. lt was first painted in a prominent position along the Uni-Boulevard in 1976. During repairs there it had to be taken down, and for several years it remained neglected, lying on the grass outside the University swimming pool. Eventually, though, the money for its reconstruction was made available by Stiftung Wohnliche Stadt, and the Bremen artist Jub Mönster was able to start work on its reconstruction.

The wall painting – or "mural" in Spanish – played a role in the history of the University and that of Bremen. Following the military putsch against Allende’s socialist government, large numbers of Chileans were forced to flee to Europe. Many of them found refuge in Bremen, which was known to sympathize with the victims of the Pinochet regime, and several academics were offered employment at the University. In June 1976 the Chilean group of artists calling themselves "Brigada Luis Corvalán" produced the first open-space artwork at the newly founded University of Bremen: The now reconstructed wall painting.

The mural was painted during the Chile Solidarity Week that took place at the University from 14th till 19th June 1976, The exiled Chileans in the "Brigada Luis Corvalán" produced similar wall paintings depicting the ant-fascist resistance in Chile in several European countries. Their intention was, of course, to draw attention to the plight of their comrades at home.

Now the reconstruction of the emotional work at the University of Bremen brings back memories of the five Chilean artists and the sense of solidarity with the Chilean people that was so strong in Bremen at that time. To mark the event, the University Archive has organized a small exhibition describing how the mural originally came into being. It is on view in the foyer of Building GW1, Block A.