Forty years after his death, Pablo Neruda was once again writing and reciting love poems before walking through Santiago’s streets under the admiring gazes of Chileans, only now, the experience was virtual.
On Friday, the Nobel Prize-winning poet was seen writing verses in the window of his former home in the Chilean capital, now a museum. Then, his projected figure set off, traveling across the facades of buildings and homes to make it seem as if the late poet was slowly strolling around the city as he did when alive.
The urban project was part of an initiative by the Pablo Neruda Foundation on the 110th anniversary of his birth on July 12, 1904.
A moving projector sent the black-and-white image of one Chile’s greatest poet against the front of buildings, giving the impression of him walking along the main avenues of Santiago, said Andrea Gana, creative director of Delight Lab, the company behind the virtual Neruda.
“It is a moving projection coming from a vehicle. As one projects the image on the facades of architecture ... it appears as if he is one more person walking,” Gana said.
A speaker broadcast Neruda’s verses so it seemed as if he were reading his poems as he walked.
The virtual poet was to stroll streets near the museum and on Santiago’s main Alameda Avenue for four hours. The images of Neruda walking were taken from old films in the foundation’s archives.
Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971 after a prolific career and is best-known internationally for his love poems.
He was also a leftist politician and diplomat, and close friend of former Chilean president Salvador Allende, who committed suicide rather than surrender to a coup led by former Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet in 1973.
Neruda was 69 at the time and suffering from prostate cancer. Traumatized by the coup and the persecution of his friends, he was to go into exile, but just before he left, he was taken to a clinic and died there.
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