January 14, 2022 | Life & Culture

Pablo Neruda, Isabel Allende and Pedro Pascal are the most well-known Chileans worldwide in the arts and culture

Pablo Neruda, Isabel Allende and Pedro Pascal are the most well-known Chileans worldwide in the arts and culture | Marca Chile

Ten Chileans make up a list of our country’s most internationally well-known cultural icons, according to a new Imagen de Chile study.

As part of the “Chile, Creativity that Inspires the World” campaign, designed to showcase creative Chilean talent abroad, Imagen de Chile has released a study on foreigners’ interest in and knowledge of our country’s cultural wealth.

“Part of our role at Imagen de Chile is to measure how the world perceives us in areas like the sciences, innovation, business and culture. We wanted to gauge how internationally well-known some of our cultural icons are and how closely they are associated with our country,” explained the executive director of Imagen de Chile, Constanza Cea.

As part of this cultural and heritage survey, participants were asked about the Chilean artists they were familiar with and whether they knew that they were Chilean. The ten most mentioned figures come from different areas: literature, theatre, music and architecture. The resulting top ten list is as follows:

  1. Pablo Neruda
  2. Isabel Allende
  3. Pedro Pascal
  4. Daniela Vega
  5. Gabriela Mistral
  6. Víctor Jara
  7. Roberto Bolaño
  8. Violeta Parra
  9. Alejandro Aravena
  10. Mon Laferte

The results were favorable for Chilean literature, with podium finishes for Pablo Neruda and Isabel Allende. The actor Pedro Pascal came in third. Of those surveyed, 32% had heard of the Nobel Laureate and knew that he was Chilean, while 28% said the same about the author of La Casa de los Espíritus (The House of the Spirits).

The other artists obtained similar percentages, fluctuating between 15% and 18% among those who recognized their nationality, and 16% and 25% among those who recognized them in general, without knowing which country they were from.¡

One surprising twist was the rise of a new generation of artists like Vega and Pascal, who have made a name for themselves recently in major productions from Netflix and Amazon, just like Mon Laferte has done at leading music festivals.

The names of several other artists of the same caliber as Neruda or Allende also stood out, such as Violeta Parra, Roberto Bolaño and Víctor Jara. This demonstrates how their legacies have remained intact many years after their deaths.

Respondents also recognized the work of Alejandro Aravena, the only architect to make the list. He was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2016, the most important architecture award given worldwide.

The top ten most well-known cultural icons represent a broad range of Chilean talent, with artists from across the generations, as well as disciplines that cater to every taste. Literature, theater, music and architecture were the most celebrated fields, but this is only a sample of the wealth and diversity of our national culture and heritage.

As the study explains, the objective is to measure “the perception of the country’s image in different disciplines in 12 cities around the world.” The survey was conducted in the following cities: Sao Paulo, Toronto, New York, Washington, London, Berlin, Paris, Madrid, Shanghai, Tokyo, New Delhi and Dubai.

Chile, Creativity that Inspires the World

This study was released as part of the “Chile, Creativity that Inspires the World” campaign, an initiative spearheaded by Imagen de Chile to communicate the impact that our country’s cultural heritage has had on the international culture and arts scene.

“From Chile, we’re creating future and looking to show how Chilean culture and the creativity, sensitivity and talent of the people that live in our country have crossed borders throughout the world,” commented the executive director of Imagen de Chile, Constanza Cea.

Numerous activities have been organized as part of this campaign, from tattooed verses of Neruda, Mistral and Nicanor Parra, to the inscription of these verses on pennants exchanged by the Chilean national soccer team at Qatar World Cup Qualifiers.

 

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