The Chilean Flag

The Chilean Flag

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Author: Elvira Hernández

Translator: Alec Schumacher

Publisher: Kenning Editions (2019)

Translated into English by Alec Schumacher and with an introduction by Cecilia Vicuña, The Chilean Flag is, at long last, available in a fully bilingual edition, just in time to confront brewing xenophobic currents in Anglo-American culture.

La bandera de Chile narrates the vicissitudes of the Chilean flag during the Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990) evoking the fate of victims of political violence. The Chilean flag is a protagonist divested of agency, a national emblem subjected to the whims of political exigency, a body tortured by those who profess their allegiance to her. She is at the same time a flag, the nation, and woman, especially the mother-spouse figure who the military regime believed should be seen, but not heard. In the end, the flag is used as a gag; her only act of resistance is to declare her silence.