The musician's commute

02 April 2024

Ray French

The city of Valparaiso, long since past it's zenith as a major port on the western coast of the Americas, has reinvented itself as a bohemian playground for artists: visual, aural, written, spoken, and any mish-mash of those. This vibe isn't the contrived icing on the profit-driven gentrification cake of a previously derelict town, rather it is cast in hardened steel within the very soul of the place. Brutally oppressed during the years of Pinochet's obscene junta, Valparaiso's culture exploded like an overheated bottle of pop after the return of democracy, and now has an ocean of citizen art rubbing happily alongside contemporary exhibitors and makers, and high end museums and galleries, all jostling for your attention while swaying to a Latin beat emanating from the plethora of clubs, bars and restaurants that pepper the city. It is vibrant, dazzling, mad, and just a wee bit dangerous if you don't keep your wits about you - and I absolutely loved it!

This image is now part of the Random Images gallery on and may, in due course, make its way onto my Shutter Hub portfolio page here:

BCL-07010 Valparaiso 01