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Music, Memory and Human Rights

Katia Chornik

Music was often written, sung and heard in the over 1,000 centres for political detention that existed in Chile during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990). This session gives an overview of the roles that music played for political prisoners and State agents, as well as the eclectic music repertoire referred to in testimonial accounts. We shall also discuss methodological and ethical considerations of collecting and studying life stories and cultural production relating to human rights violations.  

Required Reading

Further Reading

  • Albornoz, César. “La cultura en la Unidad Popular: porque esta vez no se trata de cambiar un presidente.” In Julio Pinto Vallejos, ed. Cuando hicimos historia: la experiencia de la Unidad Popular. Santiago: Lom, 2005.  
  • Chornik, Katia. 2018. "Memories of Music in Political Detention in Chile under Pinochet.Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies 27 (2): 157-73.  
  • Comisión Nacional sobre Prisión Política y Tortura. 2004. Informe.   
  • García, Marisol. Canción Valiente: 1960-1989: tres décadas de canto social y político en Chile. Santiago: Ediciones B, 2013.  
  • Illiano, Roberto, and Massimiliano Sala, eds. 2010. Music and Dictatorship in Europe and Latin America. Turnhout: Brepols.  
  • Jara, Joan. 1998. Victor: An Unfinished Song. London: Bloomsbury.   
  • Jelin, Elizabeth. 2003. State Repression and the Labors of Memory. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.   
  • Johnson, Bruce, and Martin Cloonan. 2008. Dark Side of the Tune: Popular Music and Violence. Burlington, VT: Ashgate.  
  • León, Javier F., and Helena Simonett, eds. 2016. A Latin American Music Reader: Views from the South. Champaign, IL: Illinois University Press.  
  • McSherry, J. Patrice. 2015. Chilean New Song: The Political Power of Music. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.  
  • McSherry, J. Patrice. 2015. "The Víctor Jara Case and the Long Struggle against Impunity in Chile."  Social Justice 41.3:52-68. 
  • Mendívil, Julio, and Christian Spencer Espinosa, eds. 2016. Made in Latin America: Studies in Popular Music. New York: Routledge.  
  • Moore, Robin, and Walter Aaron Clark, eds. 2012. Musics of Latin America. New York: W. W. Norton.  
  • Ochoa, Ana María, ed. 2006. Music, Silences, Silencings: Music, Violence and Quotidian Experience. Vol. 10, TRANS-Transcultural Music Review
  • O'Connell, John Morgan, and Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco, eds. 2010. Music and Conflict. Urbana and Chicago: University of Ilinois Press.  
  • Party, Daniel. 2010. "Beyond 'Protest Song': Popular Music in Pinochet’s Chile (1973-1990)." In Music and Dictatorship in Europe and Latin America, edited by Roberto Illiano and Massimiliano Sala, 671-84. Turnhout: Brepols.  
  • Pitic, Badema. 2020. “Transitional Justice.” Music and Arts in Action 7 (3): 103-119. 
  • Pizarro Cortés, Carolina, and José Santos-Herceg., eds. 2016. Revisitar la catástrofe: prisión política en el Chile dictatorial. Santiago, Chile: Pehuén.  
  • Randall, Annie J., ed. 2004. Music, Power and Politics. New York: Routledge.  
  • Ritter, Jonathan. 2012. “Complementary Discourses of Truth and Memory: The Peruvian Truth Commission and the Canción Social Ayacuchana.” In Music, Politics, and Violence, edited by Susan Fast and Kip Pegley, 197-222. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.  
  • Spencer, Christian, and Natalia Bieletto, eds. 2020. Volver a creer. Música, sonido y escucha en el movimiento social chileno (2019-2020). Vol. 54, Boletín Música.
  • Stern, Steve J. 2004. Remembering Pinochet's Chile: On the Eve of London 1998. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
  • Stern, Steve J. 2006. Battling for Hearts and Minds: Memory Struggles in Pinochet's Chile, 1973-1988. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
  • Stern, Steve J. 2010. Reckoning with Pinochet: The Memory Question in Democratic Chile, 1989-2006. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
  • Turino, Thomas. 2008. Music as Social Life. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.  
  • Vera, Alejandro, ed. Special issue “Música, política y dictaduras iberoamericanas en el siglo XX”, Resonancias 18, no. 34 (2014). 
  • Vila, Pablo, ed. The Militant Song Movement in Latin America: Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina. Lexington Books, 2014.