Olek Crochets Over Santiago’s Obelisk to Support Gay Rights

by CaroPosted on

“Podrán cortar todas las flores pero nunca detendrán la primavera.” (They can cut all the flowers, but never stop the spring.) – Pablo Neruda Olek sends this message of support to the gay community all over the world, especially in South America, with her latest piece. The Polish-born street artist (featured in HF Vol. 29) has just covered Santiago’s Obelisk Balmaceda monument with rainbow-colored crochet work. Built in 1949, the original monument is the work of artist Samuel Román Rojas in honor of Chilean President José Manuel Balmaceda Fernandez. Today, Olek renames it “Pablo Neruda”, after the Chilean poet-diplomat. Her monument is part of a project that is 3 years in the making in cooperation with Hecho en Casa and almost didn’t happen.

Olek recalls: “After my arrival, and after we got my crocheted pieces from customs that were on strike that week, we lost the permission to do it. The battle started… with “bribing” politician Orrego with a bottle of crocheted polish vodka – in rainbow!!! Finally, after tons of meetings, long days of waiting and planning the new strategy, on Thursday at 5:00pm, we got the permission to do it after midnight. It was after my assistant left, so I had to do it myself. I think I pay the karma for every single time I make anyone in my professional and personal life wait. I was surprisingly calm and was buying more wine and pisco sour for my team to keep them in a great spirits. I think my trip to India made me a new person – and made this project possible to complete.” Standing over 25 meters high, her work turns the Plaza Italia into a landmark of diversity on the occasion of the Hecho en Casa Festival. Take a look at more photos below, courtesy of the artist.


Photo by Curro Guerrero.


Photo by Curro Guerrero.


Photo by Curro Guerrero.


Photo by Curro Guerrero.


Photo by Francisko Garcia.


Photo by Francisko Garcia.


Photo by Francisko Garcia.


Photo by Francisko Garcia.


Photo by Francisko Garcia.


Photo by Francisko Garcia.

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