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)

Song by:
Violeta Parra
Testimony by:
Paicavi Painemal
Experience in:
« We set up a band with a group of fellow prisoners. They were young, university students. One of them had a guitar. »
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Published on: 22 November 2017


The Paper Boat (El barco de papel)

Song by:
Julio Numhauser, popularised by the band Amerindios
Testimony by:
José Selín Carrasco Vargas
« While we were imprisoned in Melinka, this song was sung every time that one of us was released. I remember a fellow prisoner nicknamed Bigote Molina (Moustache Molina) singing the song when we were going to Tres Álamos, from where we would be released a few days later. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 23 September 2017


Las mañanitas

Song by:
Manuel M. Ponce
Testimony by:
Beatriz Bataszew Contreras
Experience in:
Campamento de Prisioneros, Tres Álamos, December 1974 - May 1976
« To every comrade who had a birthday, we would sing 'Las mañanitas' and we would give them presents. The majority of the female prisoners would come together and sing to you. I spent one birthday in prison. Birthdays were important for everyone because we were alive. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 08 November 2016


Lucía

Song by:
Joan Manuel Serrat
Testimony by:
Beatriz Bataszew Contreras
Experience in:
Campamento de Prisioneros, Tres Álamos, December 1974 - May 1976
« Tres Álamos was a more 'normal' camp, even though we never had a trial. There was a lot of music, it was sort of ritualistic. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 08 November 2016


Zamba of my Hope (Zamba de mi esperanza)

Song by:
Luis H. Profili
Testimony by:
Edgardo Carabantes Olivares
« Horacio Carabantes Olivares, my brother, was locked up in January 1975 at the Maipo regiment of Valparaíso, with a large group of male and female prisoners, all arrested by the DINA. »
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Published on: 07 November 2016


The Internationale

Song by:
Eugène Pottier (lyrics) and Pierre Degeyter (music). Popularised by Quilapayún in Chile in the 1970s.
Testimony by:
Ana María Jiménez
Experience in:
Villa Grimaldi, April 1975
« In April 1975, the triumph of Vietnam was celebrated. We heard about it through a comrade who went to the bathroom and found a piece of the week’s newspaper. It was so beautiful for us to be there, having shouted so often for Vietnam at demonstrations. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 20 October 2016


We Shall Prevail (Venceremos)

Song by:
Claudio Iturra (lyrics) and Sergio Ortega (music)
Testimony by:
Lucía Chirinos
Experience in:
« The parish priest at Buen Pastor played the accordion. He played so beautifully. Because I played the piano, I asked him if I could borrow it. “I’ll lend it to you” he said. Discreetly I began to learn “Venceremos”, “La Internacional”, the National Anthem and the Anthem of the Police. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 25 September 2016


The Little Fence (La rejita)

Song by:
lyrics: collective creation; music: 'Jálame la pitita' by Luis Abanto Morales (Peruvian polka)
Testimony by:
Lucía Chirinos
Experience in:
« Let’s get going, would say “the lizards”, as we called the policemen, because they dress all in green. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 25 September 2016


Dona Nobis Pacem

Song by:
Text from Agnus Dei (Roman Catholic Mass); music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Testimony by:
Lucía Chirinos
Experience in:
« Music was always present in my family. My dad played the violin and my mum the piano. When I was a child, my mum sent us to dance and piano lessons. »
[Read full testimony]

Published on: 25 September 2016


Today I Sing for the Sake of Singing (Hoy canto por cantar)

Song by:
Nydia Caro and Riccardo Ceratto
Testimony by:
Beatriz Bataszew Contreras
Experience in:
« I have never been a great music listener. Nevertheless, before the coup I used to listen to Nueva Canción(1), especially Quilapayún(2) and Rolando Alarcón(3). I also liked cumbias(4), to fool around. We would dance and have fun. »
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Published on: 13 September 2016