As part of the Open Power to Art program Enel seeks to transform bleak and traditional industrial installations into true colorful outdoor museums, doing so through social art initiatives. As part of the program, a group of local artists painted one of the longest murals in the country. The project was undertaken together with the Coronel community and boasts more than 3,500 square meters of painted surface.
The exterior walls of the plant were converted into a large canvas expressing the heritage of the community, highlighting the town´s history that is closely linked to the extraction and processing of coal as well as artisanal fishing. The mural makes visible the community´s dreams and longings. A visitor can see buildings such as old mines, faces of miners and their wives. This is combined with local flora and fauna from the Boca Maule wetlands, recently declared a protected area.
This project makes Coronel the first municipality in Chile to start the transformation of the architectural structures of Enel plants into outdoor art galleries.
The project is in the Lo Rojas sector, a space that houses several fishing and port industries. Since the 1990s, intense industrial activity has negatively affected the quality of life of the area´s neighbors making it difficult to reach any kind of coherence between the space and the economic activities that take place there. There hardly existed any collaboration and trust relationship between the Company and the Lo Rojas neighboring communities.
The arts initiative started with organizing 14 focus groups composed by Coronel inhabitants, making the active participation of the neighbors the central point of those groups. People from diverse social organizations, neighbors´ associations´, communal leaders, workers from the Bocamina Plant, children aged seven and over, their grandparents aged 80 - were all invited to take part and actively get involved in the groups: it became a great inclusive cross-generation task. The participants took part in drawing and artistic expression workshops whose final achievement was to draw an idea for the mural which would tell the history of the area. These images were later painted by young people from the "Creating Dreams" group, and they were assisted by regional artists.
The project consolidated the collaborative link between Enel and the neighboring communities. It also improved the infrastructure of the plant, making it more aesthetically pleasing, the area more beautiful and giving a boost to local sustainable tourism.
From the point of view of the communities, making the design of the mural in a participatory way and using the information, the knowledge, and the experience of the communities as the main source of ideas, consolidated the local identity and its self-esteem. The mural has become a visual and aesthetic reference for the while Coronel community. For the "Creating Dreams" group the project meant perfecting their artistic skills and improving their capacity to work as a team and creating significant social projects.
The mural is the result of 2 intense years of Enel´s sustainability focus in Coronel that led to the Company´s new role within the community. It is not just a simple painting, but the seal of approval placed on this new relationship that centers on people.