Founded in 1968 by a group of young Chilean communists, the BRP took its name from Ramona Parra, a 19-year-old woman shot dead by the police during a protest in Santiago in 1946.
Inspired by the revolutionary spirit of the late 1960s, the members of the BRP headed out onto Santiago’s streets to paint. They saw murals not only as a way of brightening up the city’s drab walls, but of fomenting radical social change.
'R' for resistance
In 1970, BRP propaganda helped propel the Socialist candidate Salvador Allende into the presidential palace.
But in 1973, their work was cut short. Gen Augusto Pinochet seized power in a military coup and the Communist Party was outlawed.
BRP activists were tortured and driven into exile. The military government painted over their murals.
The BRP went underground but continued to paint in defiance of the dictatorship.
"We worked clandestinely," says Juan Tralma, a founding member of the BRP.
"It was impossible to paint big murals so we would just paint a simple letter R, ringed by a circle with a star next to it. The R stood for resistance, the circle was a sign of unity and the star a symbol of the BRP."
"We had to keep our eyes peeled all the time," recalls Beto Pasten, another veteran member of the BRP. "The police could turn up at any moment.
"They’d come and kick over our paint pots, throw paint on our murals and arrest us. We’d do a mural at the weekend and by Monday they’d painted over it in black. Then the following week we’d come back and paint again, on top of their black paint."
With the return to democracy in 1990, the BRP came out of hiding, painting murals across Chile, Latin America and even as far away as Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and Ireland.
To this day, the collective paints murals in Chile, championing contemporary causes like workers’ and indigenous rights and the campaign for education reform.