Testimonies

The testimonies are sorted by publication date, showing the new ones first.
Click on to sort by witness, to sort alphabetically by musical piece title, or to sort by publication date.


Balderrama

Author:
Manuel José Castilla (lyrics) and Gustavo Leguizamón (music). Popularised by Mercedes Sosa
Testimony by:
Eduardo Ojeda
« We arrived at Camp Compingin on Dawson Island on the afternoon of 11 September. We knew that we had been arrested that morning, and we knew nothing else yet. The next day, another group of prisoners arrived.They told us that Salvador Allende had died. »
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Published on: 16 October 2015


You Hear It Far Away (Se escucha muy lejos)

Author:
Collective creation
Testimony by:
Ignacio Puelma
Place & date:
« The sound of the sea was carried over the cabins of the Ritoque Prison Camp by the wind. It was the daily music given to us as gift by the ocean. Gone were the torture centres, the cruellest torments seemed distant, and that perception helped us to reconstruct ourselves. »
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Published on: 04 October 2015


Candombe for José (Candombe para José)

Author:
Roberto Ternán
Testimony by:
Alejandro Olate
« The youngest among us, aged 17 or even 16 years, did the heaviest work on Dawson Island. We had to fell trees, cut them, split them in two, cut them into wedges, and walk the several hundred meters back to the barracks carrying the logs on our shoulders. »
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Published on: 03 October 2015


National Anthem of Chile

Author:
Eusebio Lillo and Ramón Carnicer
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
« The Puchuncaví Prisoners Camp had a daily routine similar to that of military regiments. In a ridiculous ceremony, the flag was raised every morning at dawn and then it was taken down at nightfall. »
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Published on: 25 September 2015


Mid-Afternoon Love (Amor de media tarde)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
« This song is dedicated to Graciela Navarro, who managed to made my prisoner's life more beautiful on the days we were allowed to receive visitors. During the week, when the hourly monotony became unbearable, she would use her free moments to deliver roses and brief love letters for me at the prison gate. »
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Published on: 23 September 2015


The Little Snail (El caracolito)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
« I composed this song for a small children’s party we organised in the visitors’ yard of the Valparaíso Jail. I remember how the children had fun that day and enjoyed the play. That was the first time I put down the guitar so that a prisoner who played the accordion could accompany me. »
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Published on: 23 September 2015


Song of the Disappeared (Canción del desaparecido)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
« Several of my friends and comrades disappeared after being arrested. The dictatorship denied knowledge of their whereabouts but I knew they were lying. Many of these people had been in prison with me in the dungeons of Villa Grimaldi. This song was sung in a cell of Valparaíso Jail with one comrade keeping watch next to the door in case a prison guard approached. »
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Published on: 23 September 2015


Song of a Middle-Class Man (Canción de un hombre medio)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
« In our political discussions, we always spoke disdainfully of the middle class. In the view of the Marxist ideologues in prison, that sector of society supported the dictatorship and it was necessary to reverse that trend. It was not an active support but rather a passive support that involved laying low and getting by with the dictatorship. »
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Published on: 23 September 2015


Future (Futuro)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
Place & date:
« The dream of the political prisoner was to regain freedom. All of us would feel joy when one of us was about to be released from prison, although it far from easy to see a comrade depart. Even less so for those who suspected they would never enjoy that privilege. »
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Published on: 23 September 2015


Song of the Seed and the Plant (Canción de la semilla y la planta)

Author:
Sergio Vesely
Testimony by:
Sergio Vesely
« The history of the seed and the plant, of which this song forms part, was performed as a play to entertain our audience of children during a family visit to the prison. Imagination had no limits when it came to kindling a small flame of hope in our hearts. »
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Published on: 23 September 2015