Testimonies can be explored by detention centre, witness or victim, via the menu, the search box or tags.


Your memories on music in detention are part of our collective memory. Share them via a text or audio.


Forthcoming and recent talks

  • "Cantos Cautivos: Collecting, preserving, and disseminating music histories from political detention centers in Pinochet’s Chile", open talk at The University of Texas at Austin's LLILAS Benson “Digital Scholarship in the Americas” Speaker Series, November 2023.
  • Presentation on Cantos Cautivos, roundtable: Memory and Community: Sites of Conscience around the World, Memory Studies Association 7th Annual Conference, Newcastle (UK), July 2023.
  • Presentation on Cantos Cautivos, Event "Por una Pedagogía en Música de la Memoria en el DEMUS", Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación, Santiago, Chile, May 2023.
  • "Cantos Cautivos, la música en los centros de detención política de la dictadura militar chilena", World Forum on Human Rights, Buenos Aires, ex-ESMA, March 2023.

Cantos Cautivos in the media, on the 50the anniversary of the coup

On the occasion of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the coup in September 2023, members of our team were interviewed by The Guardian (United Kingdom) and Excelsior (Mexico). We invite you to read these and other media articles about Cantos Cautivos here.

A flor de piel (Viña del Mar, 2022)

Carmen Espinoza and César were arrested and tortured in Colonia Dignidad in April 1975. Each had a different experience, but something united them: music. Watch an excerpt of the interview and explore other stories about Colonia Colonia Dignidad in Cantos Cautivos.

The Oxford Research Encyclopedia highlights Cantos Cautivos

An entry on digital resources by Danielle Barefoot notes that our project "serves as a sonic living-museum and offers essential content for survivors, researchers, and teachers." Read it here.

Short Video Tamo Daleko (Punta Arenas / Dawson Island, 2018)

Part of the Fragments of Memory series of the Central Univ. of Chile's Audiovisual Laboratory, this video explores the song “Tamo Daleko”, adapted and used as a symbol of resistance by political prisoners. Watch the video here and see other testimonies about “Tamo Daleko” in Cantos Cautivos.

Ed Vulliamy launches his book, When Words Fail: A Life with Music, War and Peace

The author, journalist of The Guardian and The Observer, with his band at the launch in London in Sept 2018. The book contains a chapter on Cantos Cautivos. Photo: Daniel Díaz.

Reconstruction of "Filistoque's Cueca", written by Víctor Canto in Chacabuco camp

Forty-four years later, the work has been reconstructed and recorded for the first time by MACOMBA, a group directed by Marcelo Coulon (Inti-Illimani) and formed in honour of the detained-disappeared Marcelo Concha Bascuñán. Listen to the recording and read the testimony here.

Last contributions

For the full list of testimonies, please click here.