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Variations on a Fugitive's song: the performance of disappearance and forced migration in Chile

Salazar Sutil, N (2010) Variations on a Fugitive's song: the performance of disappearance and forced migration in Chile In: Aesthetic Practices and Politics in Media, Music, and Art: performing migration. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0203844726

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This paper deals with the question of political disappearance and forced migration as a stimulus for performative re-presentation. My argument rests on the idea that the loss of life or rights by violent repression does not necessarily amount to the non-appearance or complete effacement of an individual or group. On the contrary, I contend that political performance can be the direct consequence of such acts of politically-motivated disappearance. I will argue that during Augusto Pinochet’s military rule in Chile from 1973 to 1988, much of the State-sponsored violence fuelled an anti-military protest culture that was creatively and powerfully orchestrated in song and chant. The power of song is here dependent upon the tragedy of loss and absence, which would suggest that the performance of disappearance can be read as a natural refusal to accept death and political destitution, exile and fugitiveness. The paper is composed as a critical fugue- that is, as a statement followed by a number of subsequent variations. The recurring theme in this text is that of the invisible fugitive as a new type of performative appearance that cannot be killed again. The aim of the fugitive’s song is thus to bring the dead back onto the political stage as though they were living. Here I draw inspiration from the song ‘El Aparecido’, by Victor Jara, which is arguably one of the most memorable anthems of the opposition movement during the Pinochet years. Key words: performance of disappearance, Chile, Pinochet, song, Victor Jara.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
Salazar Sutil, N
Editors :
Davis, RG
Fischer-Hornung, D
Kardux, JC
Date : 16 July 2010
Uncontrolled Keywords : Art
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 13:49
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 15:10

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