Por la razón o la fuerza

A Chilean coin, featuring the national slogan "Por la razón o la fuerza" inscribed along its perimeter, was positioned atop a railway track adjacent to an abandoned station situated in the town of Batuco. As a result of the passage of a fully loaded train transporting waste from Santiago to southern Chile, the coin was crushed under the weight of the train.

It is worth noting that the national motto of Chile, "Por la razón o la fuerza," has a long and storied history. The phrase originated during the wars of independence in the early 19th century when various Latin American countries were seeking to break free from Spanish colonial rule. The phrase reflects a belief that national independence is a just and rational objective, and that it should be pursued through peaceful means if possible. However, if persuasion fails, then the use of force may be necessary to achieve this goal. Despite this original intent, the slogan has sometimes been viewed as overly aggressive or authoritarian, particularly in modern times. However, it remains an important part of Chilean history and identity and is still featured prominently on the country's currency and other national symbols.


Year: 2017
Medium: Train-pressed aluminum-bronze Chilean coin, color photographs, single-channel video, color, sound
Dimensions: Variale