How We Resemble Each Other (En qué nos parecemos)

Music piece by:
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.

These were not very happy times, so to say. We were all coming out of the Londres 38 torture house and were in a very bad condition.

It was important to recognise voices because we were blindfolded and our communication happened in the dark. One could only meet up with the people with whom one shared the cell.

Through the windows, I heard Juan. He must not have been in good physical condition, but he was in a mood to sing.

I was very touched that someone sang with so much feeling. His voice was not broken. He managed to give light and hope to humankind despite all.

For me, ‘En qué nos parecemos’ is the symbol of the period of solitary confinement. In my case, it was not very long and then they sent me to a place where I wasn’t isolated anymore.

I have memories of Londres 38 too. We hummed a little when the guard allowed it but I do not remember which songs. Everything is very faded.

Máximo Gedda, another detained-disappeared, also sang and recited poems. It lifted the mood a lot.

These songs were very important and significant for all. I tried to remember the names of the people who sang them.

Victims remembered in this testimony:


Published on: 02 June 2019

How each of us,
you and I,
resemble snow
You so white and graceful
and I in the way I melt.

The tall trees
are swayed by the wind
and people in love
by their thoughts.