1000 Londoners

Sara in is and is a Social Worker.

Sara came to UK in the 1970s as a political refugee from Chile escaping the Pinochet Dictatorship. In Chile she was put in prison and tortured for political activism (under suspicion of anti-government action) for almost two years. A charity organisation offered her a way out of Chile with a place to study at Bradford University.

Whilst preparing a favourite Chilean dish, Pastel de Choclo, Sara remembers prison and how she has dealt with her trauma over the years. From her first encounter of London to the aspects of Chile that forced her to leave. The most important things in her life are her friends, family and employment; they have given her the strength to lead a rich and fulfilling life. In London she now has a tight knit community of Chilean friends who were also imprisoned by Pinochet.

Sara has now settled in Vauxhall and for over 40 years she has been fighting for justice against Pinochet and his secret police. Sara works as a social worker for the NHS.

Film Maker:

Questions & Answers

  • What's your first memory of London? When I arrived at the airport I will never forget seeing a poster of a cat. It was humungous, and said "every cat has the right to eat". Coming from a place that there are no human rights it was very strange.
  • What do you miss when you're away from London? Neighbourhood house and friends. This is home for me.
  • What's your favourite neighbourhood? Vauxhall, Bonnington Square
  • What's your favourite building? New Tate Gallery
  • What's your ideal day out in London? Lunch on Southbank and visiting Kew Gardens
  • What's your ideal night out in London? Theatre
  • What's your most hated building? I don't know but a lot of the new buildings in London look like computers - so impersonal
  • What's the best view in London? On the South Bank
  • What's your favourite open space? Battersea Park & Richmond Park and walking along the South Bank near MI6 where you see the Houses of Parliament and Battersea Power Station.
  • What's your favourite bar, pub or restaurant? A Chilean restaurant in Borough called "EL VERGEL"
  • What's the most interesting shop? Bookshops - Foyle. The Southbank book market under Waterloo Bridge.
  • What's been your most memorable night out in London? When I was 60, I went to a Michelin star restaurant in Pimlico.
  • How would you like to spend your ideal day off in London? Going to the corner shop for a croissant and a coffee
  • Where would you take someone visiting from out of town? If they were Chilean, I'd take them to my favourite Peruvian restaurant in Elephant & Castle
  • What's the worst journey you've had to make in London? During a strike travelling from Wood Green to Waterloo. It took me 2 and a half hours to get there and 3 hours to get back.
  • What's your personal London landmark? The Tate Modern
  • Who's your favourite fictional Londoner? Sherlock Holmes
  • What's your favourite London film, book or documentary? Darling - Julie Christie. Or Blow Up.
  • If you could travel to any time period in London, past or future, where would you go? Carnaby Street in the 1960s
  • For you, who is the ultimate Londoner? Tony Benn