Víctor Jara and the New Chilean Song Movement
When socialist politician Salvador Allende dramatically won Chile’s presidential election in 1970, a powerful cultural movement accompanied him to power. Folk singers emerged at the forefront, proving that music could help forge the birth of a new society. As the CIA actively funded opposition media against Allende during his campaign, the New Chilean Song Movement rose to prominence, viscerally persuading voters with its music. Víctor Jara, a central protagonist at the time, became an icon in Chile, Latin America, and beyond for his revolutionary lyrics and life. Inti-Illimani, Quilapayún, and other musicians contributed by singing before audiences of workers outside factories or campesinos in Chile’s rural countryside.
A short cultural history, “Venceremos“ charts the development of the movement from the years before Allende’s victorious campaign to the brutal U.S.-backed military coup on September 11, 1973, that overthrew his presidency and imposed the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. Featuring interviews from key figures and lyrical analysis, “Venceremos“ gives insight into how the New Chilean Song Movement’s revolutionary anthems came to be.
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Gabriel San Román provides a thoughtful and comprehensive overview of the New Chilean Song Movement. He insightfully interweaves the music’s artistic development with Chile’s tumultuous history of those years.
—James Brennan, professor and chair of history, University of California, Riverside
En el libro, San Román señala la importancia que las canciones populares tuvieron para mantener una cultura de compromiso y militancia que llevó a la victoria de la Unidad Popular.
—Vicenç Navarro, Catedrático de Ciencias Políticas y Políticas Públicas, Universidad Pompeu Fabra
A well-written history and analysis that never forgets what the subject matter is: music for the ages.
—Gustavo Arellano, editor, OC Weekly, and syndicated columnist for ¡Ask a Mexican!
"Venceremos highlights the power of culture - whether music or other artistic modalities - to foment change, raise consciousness and heighten excitement about the possibility of a better world."
—Eleanor J. Bader, truth-out.org