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.


How Can I Describe This to You? (Cómo hacer para darte una idea)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
« This is one of two songs I wrote in prison for my beloved Graciela Navarro. In the song I tried to draw her closer to me, describing my everyday world and my experience of life as a captive. »
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Published on: 22 June 2015


Valparaíso

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
« This song was written and sung in cell number 198 of Valparaíso’s former prison, that is to say, on the top floor of the main building, which was higher than the walls that surrounded it. This had several advantages for the prisoner, for if they perched on a stool to peer through the skylight, they could enjoy the company of a good part of the city during their hours of confinement. »
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Published on: 22 June 2015


Today Was Visitors’ Day (Hoy fue día de visitas)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
« Visitors’ day was an exceptional day that broke the monotonous routine of all the other days of the week. I wrote this song in Valparaíso Jail, where I sang it countless times accompanied by my dearly remembered cellmate, the musician Antonio Suzarte from Valparaíso. »
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Published on: 22 June 2015


Love Song for a Disappeared Woman (Canción de amor a una desaparecida)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
« Daniela was the political codename of María Cecilia Labrín, a member of the Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR). Agents of the DINA (the regime’s secret police) arrested her at her home on Latadía Street in Santiago in August 1974. »
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Published on: 22 June 2015


Reflections (Reflexiones)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
« Prison forced me to think quite a lot about my political past and my total commitment to an ideological cause, and its consequences. In this song (composed in the Puchuncaví Detention Camp and only sung for my friends and cellmates) I reflect on my role as a prisoner songwriter. »
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Published on: 22 June 2015


Beloved Friend (Amado amigo)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
« This song, written in my cell at the Puchuncaví Prison Camp, speaks to a friend and fellow prisoner; it could be any one of the thousands behind bars. »
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Published on: 22 June 2015


The Valley Swallow (La golondrina del valle)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
« One of the most amazing experiences I had during my six months in the Puchuncaví Prison Camp was to see the metamorphosis of the barbed wire fence into a huge musical score. This happened when a flock of swallows made a surprise visit and hundreds of them perched at different heights on the stiff barbed wire. »
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Published on: 22 June 2015


Anthem of Puchuncaví (Himno de Puchuncaví)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
« A few weeks before being transferred to Valparaíso Jail - where I would face a war council on account of alleged violations of the State Interior Security Law and other military regulations that existed during the state of siege - I wrote a song that I called anthem, because I wanted it to be sung as a group at the end of our cultural events on Fridays. »
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Published on: 22 June 2015


Caliche

Author:
Calatambo Albarracín
Testimony by:
Luis Cifuentes Seves
Place & date:
Campamento de Prisioneros Chacabuco, December 1973 - February 1974
« Los de Chacabuco, a band founded and conducted by Ángel Parra, arranged this song. It was sung several times during the Saturday shows at the Chacabuco concentration camp. At the farewell concert for Angel, Alberto Corvalán recorded it on cassette, and a subsequent LP was produced from that cassette. »
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Published on: 22 June 2015


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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Published on: 18 June 2015