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Tuesday, March 31 • 1:15pm - Saturday, March 15 • 1:30pm
Kristen D. Forehand: 'We Will Win': Restoring Chilean Identity through Music

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From the 1960s to the 1970s, the music of Víctor Jara contributed to Chile’s expanding socialist revolution. Though controversial, his lyrics ultimately expressed a deep love for the lower classes. Indeed, Chile’s Christian Democratic government and the country’s ruling elite considered Jara’s music a threat to their power. An understanding of Jara’s music serves to discover links between music, politics and popular movements. This study investigates the complexity of love as embodied in Jara’s music and the changing state perceptions of Jara himself. The perceptions of Jara’s music shifted with the election of socialist president Salvador Allende. At this time, the ruling regime and its followers saw Jara as an ally for revolution. Allende’s overthrow and the institution of a brutal regime under control of General Augusto Pinochet saw yet another shift in Jara’s relationship with the state. Deemed an enemy of Chile, Jara faced brutal torture and murder. Jara understood that love serves as an ideal vehicle for political communication, as it makes listeners much more receptive to the messages conveyed. Thus, investigating how an influential artist such as Jara uses love sheds light on the complex relations that develop between politically active artists, their listeners and the state. Indeed, Jara’s lyrics coincide with the messages of Chilean murals and film. Therefore, this research builds on the works of Steve J. Stern, who probes the memory of Chilean citizens in regard to Pinochet, and Dorian Lynskey, who considers the political usage of music.


Tuesday March 31, 2015 1:15pm - Saturday March 15, 2031 1:30pm EDT
Civic Center - Meeting Room C - Ground Floor 505 West Pensacola Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301