Testimonies

Testimonies are sorted by publication date, showing the newest first.
Click on to sort by witness, to sort alphabetically by musical piece title, or to sort by publication date.


The Letter (La carta)

Author:
Violeta Parra
Testimony by:
Pedro Mella Contreras
« When solitary confinement was lifted in January 1987 and we were able to receive visitors, a brother who lived in Santiago travelled to see me. »
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Published on: 30 September 2019


The Apparition (El aparecido)

Author:
Víctor Jara
Testimony by:
Pedro Mella Contreras
« When they took me out to physiotherapy treatment, I sang some verses of the song ‘The Apparition’ loudly: »
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Published on: 30 September 2019


Shadows (Sombras)

Author:
Rosario Sansores and Carlos Brito Benavides. Popularised in Chile by Lucho Barrios.
Testimony by:
Juan Carlos de Luján Peralta Aranguiz
« I arrived in this place as a war prisoner when I was sixteen years old. »
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Published on: 30 September 2019


The Brief Space Where You Are Absent (El breve espacio en que no estás)

Author:
Pablo Milanés
Testimony by:
Pedro Mella Contreras
« In the Penitentiary, we listened to the song “The Brief Space Where You Are Absent” on the radio stations Aurora and Nuevo Mundo. »
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Published on: 28 September 2019


A Million Friends (Un millón de amigos)

Author:
Roberto Carlos
Testimony by:
Pedro Mella Contreras
« I was arrested when I was 32 years old, along with approximately twenty-three other people. »
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Published on: 28 September 2019


The Clock (El reloj)

Author:
Roberto Cantoral
Testimony by:
Ana María Arenas
« The day I was captured, after the first torture session, I asked for permission to sing a Christmas carol, the name of which I cannot remember. I did it to let one of my captive friends know that I was also at the Venda Sexy. »
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Published on: 24 August 2019


Moments (Los momentos)

Author:
Eduardo Gatti
Testimony by:
Scarlett Mathieu
« ‘Moments’ was a song sung by the female comrades whose partners were imprisoned on the other side of Tres Álamos, or were fugitives or disappeared. We all sang it, but it was like their anthem. »
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Published on: 11 June 2019


How We Resemble Each Other (En qué nos parecemos)

Author:
Unknown. Popularised by Quilapayún
Testimony by:
Scarlett Mathieu
« In Cuatro Álamos, I was profoundly marked by the singing of a current detained-disappeared named Juan Chacón. He sang ‘En qué nos parecemos’, a love song from the Spanish Civil War. It remained engraved in me because that comrade disappeared from Cuatro Álamos. »
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Published on: 02 June 2019


You Will Pay (The Cigarette Smoke) (Pagarás [El humo del cigarrillo])

Author:
Manuel Mantilla
Testimony by:
Fernando Aravena
Place & date:
« The political prisoners were isolated but when they made us go down to the courtyard, we were with the common prisoners. They listened to the song ‘El humo del cigarillo’ on the radio. That is the first song I remember from the period during which I was imprisoned. »
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Published on: 27 April 2019


The Prisoner of Til Til (El cautivo de Til Til)

Author:
Patricio Manns
Testimony by:
Fernando Aravena
Place & date:
« The political prisoners organised mate-drinking gatherings once or twice a week, during which we did poetry and sang songs, amongst them ‘El cautivo de Til Til’ by Patricio Manns, ‘Samba Landó’ and ‘Vuelvo’ by Inti-Illimani, ‘Valparaíso’ by Osvaldo ‘Gitano’ Rodríguez, and songs by Eduardo ‘Gato’ Alquinta and Silvio Rodríguez. »
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Published on: 27 April 2019