The low craft in Santiago

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Jo! is a new radical craft shop in the Santiago suburb of Bellavista, which is usually throbbing at night with street life. The objects within have mostly been made quickly out of recycled materials. I picked up a brooch made from keyboard keys for $2 Australian.

The owner is originally from the ‘provinces’ and remembers her first ever sale from a little garden that she maintained. In honour of this, she has established a huerto (plot garden) on the busy street. She was surprised to see the space respected and everything kept in its place. Once the plants grow, her intention is to place a notice inviting neighbours to take from mature plants.

Jo! seems another example of the kind of abajismo (pride in lowness) that is so dynamic in Chilean culture today. Another example are the cheap handmade books published by Anamita Cartonera in honour of people who live on the streets.

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