Look up to the sky.
Look up to the sky, when there is no other option. Look up, because it is more beautiful than looking at what surrounds us. Play kite hunting, hoping to be the first, the best, the fastest and the one who manages to catch the most. To glue our eyes to the sky, because the violence around us is palpable and childhood still deserves to live with hope.
A 6 year old boy lives in a camp on the outskirts of Santiago, in San Bernardo, in the periphery, where the most vulnerable families of the capital were relegated, to keep poverty away from the center and the privileged.
An empty lot was taken over by homeless people several years ago, who built their homes with light, cheap materials that they had at their disposal. About 50 families live there in extremely vulnerable conditions, with electricity and water taken illegally. Basic construction, sanitation, and basic supply regulations do not apply here. The families have informal, sporadic jobs and many of them are involved in drugs and alcohol.
There is violence in this place, as in many camps, physical violence between families, couples and neighbors. Here problems are solved by shouting and with knives or bullets, and drugs and alcohol are constant companions. As well as the invisible violence, the violence of state neglect, of the lack of public policies and of poverty.
Ruth is a 33-year-old mother of five children, the oldest of whom she had at the age of 15. She has had to live with drug use and addiction, be in prison, experience violence and abuse, and endure the removal of custody of her youngest children. Because of the covid-19 pandemic, she has been able to spend more time with her family at home and kick her addiction.
Abraham, the fourth of her children, is 6 years old and is cared for by his paternal grandmother, but due to the quarantine measures she has been able to stay with his mother and siblings during this period.
In the kite season, Abraham runs back and forth through the dirt streets, looks at the sky and nothing interrupts him. He wakes up thinking about kites and his whole day revolves around them. He has olive eyes and incredible agility to climb walls in his quest. In the game of hunting and searching for kites he involves children and adults, all running around looking at the sky.
There are moments of silence and contemplation, with their eyes fixed on the blue sky, where the children observe and analyze the movements of the kites that rise near the camp.
Looking at the sky chasing kites becomes an unmissable panorama in the face of the palpable poverty of this place.