To mark the 40th anniversary of the 1973 coup in Santiago, Chile, Chilean folk singer PatricioZamorano performed a concert Wednesday in the Intercultural Center Auditorium.
The event, sponsored by the Department of Spanish & Portuguese, commemorated the coup’s anniversary with a message of historical memory, justice and peace.
The concert began with a video juxtaposing images from Sept. 11, 1973, the day that set Chile on a long road of regime breakdown and human rights violations, and the Sept. 11 attacks against the United States. The video quoted the line “History is ours and it is written by the people” several times.
Government professor and former Undersecretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela delivered the keynote address. He called upon the audience to reflect on the coup that marked the end of one of world’s longest-lasting democracies.
“There’s been much more reflection than ever before,” Valenzuela said. “Memory is so crucial. It is so important to recapture and recuperate what happened. For it is only through the truth and justice that we can truly know what happened.”
Zamorano performed a set of several folk songs, accompanied by drum, guitar and flute players. He dedicated the concert to all heroes, past and present.
The songs were intended to reflect pride in the beauty of Chile and hope for its future.
“The land of the nation is sweet,” Zamorano sang in the lively opening song.
He explained how he chose to focus his music not as much on the political aspects of the coup, but rather on honoring the human costs.
“When we forget to honor revolution, we are no longer human beings,” Zamorano said.
Zamorano’s performance was well received.
Nico Lake (SFS ’16) said it was a moving experience.
“As a Chilean-American, it was a great opportunity to be able to attend a program combing the two historic events that have made this day so important,” he said. “It was also nice to hear the folk band liven up the commemoration with traditional Chilean music that isn’t heard much around Georgetown.”
Mary Rogers (COL ’16) agreed that the music was a refreshing way to commemorate what is typically a more somber memory.
“I really liked all aspects of the event,” she said. “I felt like I wanted to get up and dance.”