Testimonies

Testimonies are sorted by publication date, showing the newest first.
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Story of the Chair (Historia de la silla)

Song by:
Silvio Rodríguez
Testimony by:
Eduardo Andrés Arancibia Ortiz
Experience in:
Cárcel de Santiago, 1980 - 1991
« This was one of the songs Silvio Rodríguez sang to us the day he visited the political prisoners in Santiago’s Public Jail in 1990. I had the chance to thank him on behalf of Víctor Zúñiga Arellano, a political prisoner who died in an escape attempt in 1987 in the Santiago Penitentiary, as this songwriter had been a treasured companion during Víctor’s life in hiding. »
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Published on: 05 January 2015


Futuristic Anthem (Himno futurista)

Song by:
unknown
Testimony by:
Patricio Polanco
Experience in:
« In 1973 and 1974, Pisagua was characterised by the harsh and cruel treatment of political prisoners. Singing was mandatory for prisoners, who were guarded by Army platoons, and it was also a means to avoid beatings and collective mistreatment. »
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Published on: 05 January 2015


From the Poplars I have Come, Mother (De los álamos vengo, madre)

Song by:
Juan Vásquez
Testimony by:
Luis Cifuentes Seves
Experience in:
Campamento de Prisioneros Chacabuco, November 1973 - February 1974
« Los de Chacabuco, a band created and conducted by Ángel Parra, performed this traditional Spanish song at the Chacabuco concentration camp. »
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Published on: 31 December 2014


Candombe for José (Candombe para José)

Song by:
Roberto Ternán
Testimony by:
Sara De Witt
Experience in:
« 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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Published on: 29 December 2014


Ode to Joy (Himno a la alegría)

Song by:
original by Friedrich von Schiller (lyrics) and Ludwig van Beethoven (music). Free version in Spanish by Amado Regueiro Rodríguez, aka Orbe (lyrics) y Waldo de los Ríos (music), popularised in Chile by Miguel Ríos.
Testimony by:
Amelia Negrón
Experience in:
« Preparations for that Wednesday night became more intense. It would be a different night. We women prisoners had secretly organised ourselves, but more importantly, we had also coordinated with the male prisoners. I’m not sure whether it was our idea or whether the men had proposed it. »
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Published on: 29 December 2014


How We Resemble Each Other (En qué nos parecemos)

Song by:
Unknown. Popularised by Quilapayún
Testimony by:
Luis Cifuentes Seves
Experience in:
« During the 1960s the band Quilapayún popularised this old Spanish song in Chile. Víctor Canto and I performed it as a duet in Santiago’s National Stadium - which had been converted into a concentration, torture and extermination camp - from September to November 1973. »
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Published on: 23 December 2014


To Sing by Improvising (Pa’ cantar de un improviso)

Song by:
Violeta Parra
Testimony by:
Claudio Enrique Durán Pardo (aka Quique Cruz)
« We made a Venezuelan cuatro from a large plank of wood attached to one of the walls of the "ranch" where we ate. »
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Published on: 23 December 2014


Answer Me

Song by:
Gerhard Winkler and Fred Rauch. English lyrics by Carl Sigman. Recorded by Frankie Laine.
Testimony by:
Luis Cifuentes Seves
Experience in:
« 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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Published on: 23 December 2014


Dreams of my Imprisonment (Sueños de mi encierro)

Song by:
Mario Patricio Cordero Cedraschi
Testimony by:
Mario Patricio Cordero Cedraschi
Experience in:
Cárcel de Valparaíso, Winter of 1975
« I’d spent two years in prison and there was no end in sight for my time in jail. I observed during visiting hours that many prisoners had children, a wife, family; in my case, however, having been arrested so young and just turned 19, I felt a growing concern that I’d die without bearing children, and never experience this wonderful human feeling. »
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Published on: 23 December 2014


Partisan Anthem (Himno guerrillero)

Song by:
Unknown. Russian melody. During the Russian Revolution, several lyrics with different ideological content circulated. This version is based on "Makhnovtchina", attributed to Nestor Makhno, Ukrainian anarchist revolutionary.
Testimony by:
Julio Laks Feller
Experience in:
« In late September 1974, the Soviet partisan’s song was intoned softly but with an awe-inspiring force in the José Domingo Cañas torture centre. Our comrade and beloved friend Sergio Pérez Molina, leader of the MIR who had fallen into the hands of the DINA a few days earlier, was being tortured again. »
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Published on: 19 December 2014