The Summer School of the University of Concepción brought together more than 100,000 people around culture, science and the arts

“Imaginary Voices and Territories” was the name under which the Summer School of the University of Concepción developed on January 9 and 22, 2023. With a large audience participation and a grid of activities, the traditional activity brought together children and adults to concerts, book presentations, workshops and courses organized by university faculties and administrations.

According to estimates by the Directorate of Extension and the Art Gallery, nearly 100,500 people attended some of the events organized on the Chillán, Los Ángeles and Concepción campuses.

In total, 45 talks, 74 workshops and 26 courses were held, as well as 35 postgraduate courses. Five exhibitions were also inaugurated at the Casa del Arte, which will remain open until March and which has brought together the Pinacoteca’s collection with the works of important artists from the region. Likewise, as part of the Summer School, the International Book Fair, organized by the University of Concepción with funding from the Regional Government, and a series of concerts and artistic presentations took place in the open spaces of the three campuses.

Among the activities that gathered the largest number of people, with more than 42,000 participants in total, were the concerts of the Symphony Orchestra, theater performances and the presentation of Los Jaivas at the forum of the Universidad de Concepción. The Orchestra opened the big events on Friday 13 January and followed the “Población Esperanza” shows and the children’s theater with “2070, the latest documentary on animals”, by the La Otra Zapatilla company.

Carolina Aguilera, “La Canarito”; she dances with “Ay de mi Violeta”, by the Calaucalis Company, the Biobío award in 100 words and the UdeC Law Big Band. Meanwhile, the Los Jaivas group held concerts on the three campuses of the University: on January 19 in Los Angeles, on January 20 in Chillán – in front of more than 5,000 people – and on Saturday 21 in Concepción.

The director of the Extension and the Art Gallery, Rodrigo Piracés González, commented on the good results of the call made by the University. “We are impressed by the enthusiasm with which the public has responded; More people came than we thought we had. I think one of the reasons has to do with attending events in person after the pandemic and also feeling welcomed on campuses, as spaces of urban coexistence. Many families came to see the shows, to walk around the campus and to buy books”.

Academic events and FILB

One of the focuses of the Summer School is the meetings of researchers from various disciplines, as well as the connection of the university community with the campus. In this framework, the UdeC hosted the “Congress of Public Libraries”, which had international guests to talk about the promotion of reading in a context of technological transformations and the meeting of the Alumni of the UdeC, which brought together more than one hundred alumni on the Concepción Campus.

Another of the exceptional activities that took place as part of the Summer School and that massively brought together the public was the Biobío International Book Fair (FILB), which for 10 days brought together more than 100 authors and 200 houses publishers. According to the organization’s estimates, 40,000 people visited the fairgrounds, located in the central lawn of the University of Concepción. Prominent authors included writer Hernán Rivera Letelier and historian Gabriel Salazar Vergara.

Open exhibitions and campuses

For its part, the Casa del Arte has inaugurated five exhibitions: “Song for my dead forest” by Sandra Santander, “Intervention of the Colonial Collection”, curated by María Pavés Carvajal, “Coastal Zone”, from the Biennale of art and science , “The images of Escámez”, edited by Javier Ramírez Hinrichsen and “Dialogues and Imaginaries”, edited by Samuel Quiroga Soto.

The exhibitions were inaugurated on January 13 and will remain open until February 27, in the case of “Intervention of the colonial collection”, “Escámez’s images” and “Imaginary dialogues”, and until March 5 for “I sing for my forest morta” and “Coastal Zone.” Until the closure of the Summer School, a total of 3,200 people attended the exhibits.

On the Chillán and Los Ángeles campuses, this edition of the event also marked a milestone in terms of audiences: in the case of Chillán, 10,000 people gathered around the artistic activities and workshops, while in Los Ángeles there were around 5,500 people. “It’s very important to us, and in Chillán the organizers told us that the public was waiting for what will happen next summer. We believe a milestone has been planted that we will need to continue to replicate in the coming years,” said Piracés.

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