Alfonsina and the Sea (Alfonsina y el mar)

Author:
Félix Luna (lyrics) and Ariel Ramírez (music). Popularised by Mercedes Sosa.
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
Villa Grimaldi, January 1975
« It was not easy to endure being locked up in one of Villa Grimaldi’s miserable cells that resembled vertical coffins. It was even harderin the high temperatures of the summer months of the Andes foothills in Peñalolén. I was inside one of those cells, blindfolded, my feet and hands in chains. »
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Answer Me

Author:
Gerhard Winkler and Fred Rauch. English lyrics by Carl Sigman. Recorded by Frankie Laine.
Testimony by:
Luis Cifuentes Seves
Place & date:
« I sang this song alone in the National Stadium dressing rooms where I was held from September to November of 1973. This happened when the soldiers allowed artistic performances to take place in the converted dressing rooms while we waited our turn to be interrogated or after returning from interrogations. »
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Candombe for José (Candombe para José)

Author:
Roberto Ternán
Testimony by:
Sara De Witt
Place & date:
« We were in Tres Álamos barracks in September 1976. I don’t recall how many of us women were imprisoned there. I believe there were close to a hundred of us. »
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Candombe for José (Candombe para José)

Author:
Roberto Ternán
Testimony by:
Amelia Negrón
« We were in Pavilion 1. One of us came up with the idea, I can’t remember who. There were so many of us and we spent the day inventing and creating things! »
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Captive Quena (Quena cautiva)

Author:
Claudio Enrique Durán Pardo (aka Quique Cruz)
Testimony by:
Claudio Enrique Durán Pardo
Place & date:
Campamento de Prisioneros, Tres Álamos, between September and December 1975
« I first laid my hands on a quena (typical Andean flute) when I was nine years old. It was resplendently fragile and full of song. My passion for this instrument was immediate, or rather, it was the quena that chose me to play it. Five years later, aged 14, I had already become the quena player of a quartet in ​​San Antonio. »
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Casida of the Dark Pigeons (Casida de las palomas oscuras)

Author:
Federico García Lorca (words), Paco Ibáñez (music)
Testimony by:
Luis Alfredo Muñoz González
Place & date:
Campamento de Prisioneros Cuatro Álamos, late February or early March 1975
« According to scientists, the location for memory and for processing music is situated in a deep, ancestral part of the brain, where it is zealously guarded. Perhaps this explains why even after our bodies have been destroyed to the marrow, when nothing is left of us but the murky eyes of death, music and song appear. »
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Couplets from El Yopo (Coplas de El Yopo)

Author:
Unknown. Traditional Venezuelan song. Popularised in Chile by Isabel and Ángel Parra
Testimony by:
Carlos Muñoz
« A comrade whose last name was Saavedra (if I recall correctly) passionately sung this song. Typical of popular cultural traditions, this song earned him the nickname of ‘El Yopo’ (also ‘chopo’). The song was familiar in Chile, as sung by Ángel and Isabel Parra, who called it 'Décimas del folklore venezolano' or 'Coplas Venezolanas'. »
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Free (Libre)

Author:
Nino Bravo
Testimony by:
anónimo
Place & date:
« While waiting in the grandstands to be interrogated for the first, second or more times, we would sing "Free" to those who were being lined up to be released. "Free" was a catharsis, a mixture of joy for those who were going and hope for those of us left behind. »
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Free (Libre)

Author:
Nino Bravo
Testimony by:
Guillermo Orrego Valdebenito
« This song was performed in the Stadium grandstands by a worker from Madeco: Peineta Vasquez, winner of a Song Festival that was organised at grassroots level, during the times when we were allowed to leave the spaces under the grandstands, inside the stadium,  to sunbathe, together with women from various countries before they got sent off to the pool area. »
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How We Resemble Each Other (En qué nos parecemos)

Author:
Unknown. Popularised by Quilapayún
Testimony by:
Luis Cifuentes Seves
Place & date:
« During the 1960s the group Quilapayún popularised this old Spanish song in Chile. Víctor Canto and I performed it as a duet in Santiago’s National Stadium, converted into a concentration, torture and extermination camp, from September to November 1973. »
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