Bearing culture and weaving policy : Chilean cultural policies and creatives in Araucanía
Based on mixed methods research in policy analysis and ethnographies with indigenous artists, activists, and academics in the Araucanía Region in Chile, this work aims to review the multifaceted process in establishing the country’s first Ministry of Cultures, the Arts, and Heritage in 2018. The government’s decentralized approach to drafting the bill invited indigenous peoples from all regions to participate in the cultural policy making process. This work explores the limitations of cultural policies to represent the indigenous peoples in Chile who still do not have recognition in the constitution. As long as the extension of cultural democracy to indigenous peoples does not include human rights, the homogenous Chilean body politic will continue to marginalize and militarize indigenous territories. Understanding how a post-dictatorship Chile engages with cultural policy by way of neoliberal multiculturalism presents complex issues for the realization of indigenous rights. Juxtaposing cultural participation methods and conversations with indigenous creatives, this research highlights the underlying conditions in its democratic culture that prevent the creation of a plurinational state and true progress toward a democratic culture.