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Chile's September 11th: Chilean Musicians Reflect on the 30th Anniverary of Allende's Coup

From: Pauline Bartolone
Length: 07:10

September 11th 2003 marks the 30th anniversary of the Chilean coup that toppled Socialist president Salvador Allende. The death of the coveted leader was the start of years of repression of the Chilean people under the Pinochet regime. Chilean exiles came to the US, forming a strong political and artistic presence in the San Francisco Bay area. In this half hour documentary produced by Pauline Bartolone, members of the music ensemble Grupo Raiz reflect on the coup 30 years later, and how their lives as musicians helped form their identities as Chilean exiles in the US. Read the full description.

Raiz_small This is a story about the survivors of the other September 11th; about how a group of Chilean exiles responded to terrorism through music, and how they used art to educate about and protect themselves against injustice. In this next half hour, Quique Cruz, Fena Torres, Hector Salgado and Lichi Fuentes tell us about Grupo Raiz, a Chilean music ensemble based in Berkeley California. With Rafael Manriquez and Ellen Moore, the 6-member group created a musical marriage between political beliefs and Andean culture. We start the story in 1970 in Chile, the year Salvador Allende was elected. This was first aired on Latino USA.

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Piece Description

This is a story about the survivors of the other September 11th; about how a group of Chilean exiles responded to terrorism through music, and how they used art to educate about and protect themselves against injustice. In this next half hour, Quique Cruz, Fena Torres, Hector Salgado and Lichi Fuentes tell us about Grupo Raiz, a Chilean music ensemble based in Berkeley California. With Rafael Manriquez and Ellen Moore, the 6-member group created a musical marriage between political beliefs and Andean culture. We start the story in 1970 in Chile, the year Salvador Allende was elected. This was first aired on Latino USA.

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Review of Chile's September 11th: Chilean Musicians Reflect on the 30t

I thought I would learn about Chile's September 11 with this piece. The introduction is strong and sound-rich, with someone talking about being in "concentration camps" and how September 11 is still not resolved today. However, as the piece goes on, Chile's September 11 is not really explained. Instead, this piece is an interesting introduction to Groupo Raiz, a musical group from Chile who started playing music in jail in the 1970s, as a result of Chile's September 11.
The compelling story here is that the group members started playing to entertain other prisoners. Group members talk about how playing music kept their imaginations alive, and kept political beliefs strong. The role of the US in promoting the coup in Chile on September 11 is mentioned in the last 45 seconds of the piece, and I wanted to hear more about that.
This piece seems to be trying to do two things: explain Chile's September 11 and give us a portrait of Groupo Raiz. It succeeds better with the latter than the former.
I would like to hear this on the radio, more as a profile of the group than as an explanation of the political coup in Chile.

Broadcast History

Aired on Latino USA, but the longer 29 minute version has no broadcast rights, so you can listen to it here:

http://www.indybay.org/news/2003/09/1645036.php

Musical Works

All music performed and written by Grupo Raiz.

Related Website

http://www.indybay.org/news/2003/09/1645036.php