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The Cambridge Chileans: Recollections of exile and sanctuary in Britain

Hora Chilena tells the story of a group of Chileans who fled the brutal Pinochet dictatorship of the 1970s and landed in Cambridge, and how together with some of the locals, they set about trying to rebuild their lives.

2013 marks 40 years since a bloody military coup overthrew the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile, a brutal event played out to millions across the world. In the years that followed over 3,000 people were killed or disappeared, many thousands more were jailed and tortured and around 200,000 were displaced.

The United Kingdom received over 2,000 of these political refugees who sought asylum from persecution while back home the dictatorship endured for a further 18 years. Consequently, many Chileans black-listed by the military junta were unable to return and Britain became their permanent home. Communities of Chilean exiles settled throughout the UK in towns and cities including London, Cambridge, Liverpool, Birmingham and Edinburgh. They not only used each other for support, but found a solidarity amongst many of the British public, most of whom had no previous connection with Chile. Help came from groups such as the Chilean Solidarity Campaign, university student unions and individuals who volunteered their time and resources to help the Chilean exiles settle in and move on with their lives. Thefilm aims to record those early experiences of 1970s and 1980s Britain in the hope of producing a valuable document of a special time in Cambridge and the UK’s cultural history. We talk to the British that helped, the Chileans that came and their children, now grown, who stayed. What was that experience like, where did the solidarity come from and what is the relevance, if any, to our world today.

The film is about two once unconnected groups, brought together by one of the great tragedies of the late twentieth century which still remains an emblematic and searing moment in the political memory of a generation.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Unfortunately I won't make it tonight as not feeling that great. It looked so good as well.

    April 28, 2014

  • Gemma V.

    Hi everyone, I'm heading down for 5.30, anyone going to The Fountain beforehand?

    April 28, 2014

  • Joanna T

    Hello I've sent messages to everyone - just want to let you know I won't make it to the pub at 5.30pm just in case anyone else would like to meet up beforehand they can post on here so others might be able to catch up with them - sorry for short notice

    April 28, 2014

  • Joanna T

    Hello everyone, for some reason I can't download your emails via Meetup to send an update so am posting it here!! The film showing is free of charge, you don't need to book beforehand, and is in the HOWARD THEATRE in Downing College at 6pm tomorrow - call into the Porters' Lodge to ask directions if you need them but the theatre is pretty much in the centre of the College grounds if I remember. You can download a map of the College here: Also I will be in the Fountain pub next door from 5.30pm for anyone who wants to meet up before hand (12 Regent Street, CB2 1DB). See you then!

    April 27, 2014

  • Bridget B.

    It's a tickets on the door thing? I can't find any other info about it.

    April 25, 2014

    • Bridget B.

      Sorry, diary tetris has gone wrong, I can't make this now.

      April 26, 2014

  • Gift

    Hoping to have a great time

    March 12, 2014

10 went

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