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

  • 'Music and Trauma: Why Knowing One’s Limits Matters', 'Music and Medicine: Musicological and Medical-Historical Approaches' Conference, Nov 2021.
  • 'Memorias Sonoras, Prisión Política y Dictaduras en el Cono Sur', webinar of the Núcleo de Sociología del Arte y las Prácticas of the Univ. of Chile, Sept 2021.
  • 'Intangible Cultural Heritage and Sites of Conscience', International Coalition of Sites of Conscience webinar, May 2021.
  • 'Cantos Cautivos: Integrando tecnologías web para crear un archivo sobre experiencias musicales en prisión política en Chile bajo la dictadura de Pinochet', Centre for the Comparative Study of Portugal, Spain and the Americas, Swansea University, Feb 2021.
  • 'Memories of Captured Song: Revisiting the History and Legacies of Music-Making in Chilean Detention Center Through the Cantos Cautivos Testimonial Project', 'Music, Sound, and Trauma: Interdisciplinary Perspectives' Conference, Feb 2021.
  • 'Blending Web Technologies to Create an Archive on Musical Experiences in Political Detention Centres in Chile under Pinochet’s Dictatorship', Univ. of Cambridge, Oct 2020.

El País newspaper features Cantos Cautivos

How a comedian became the centre of a controversy involving Pinochet, the victims of his repression, a man trying to jump the Berlin Wall, and a ruined singer. Read the article and listen to the podcast.

Interview on CBC/Radio-Canada

In November 2019, CBC broadcast a programme on the soundtrack of protests in Chile, during the current uprising and also in political detention centres during the dictatorship. Listen to it here.

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 concentration camp

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

Cantos Cautivos: music, education and technology for human rights.

Panel on the roles of music as an educational resource to address memory and human rights topics, and on the use of internet technology as a tool for dissemination, exchange and research. August 2018, Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Santiago, Chile.

Last contributions

For the full list of testimonies, please click here.