The Life and Songs of Victor Jara
Dr Stephen Palmer & Alan Jones
Birkbeck Room, 15 Tavern Street
Sat, 29 Feb 20
10.00am - 12.30pm
Ticket (incl. coffee/tea) Member £8.00
Victor Jara (1932-1973) was a central figure in the political and cultural movement which sought to transform Chilean society in the 1960s and early '70s. Originally trained in dance and theatre - Jara became increasingly active in the 'Nueva Cancion' ('New Song') movement which arose as a reaction to the perceived dominance of US (and British) popular music in Chile in the 1960s. This had its roots in the folk traditions and instruments of Chile and of the Andean region more generally; and became more explicitly identified with the political protest movement that eventually saw Salvador Allende's Popular Unity coalition of forces take power in 1970.
By this time, Victor Jara was dedicating almost all of his creative energies to the cause of the people and, indeed, in the shape of 'Venceremos' ('We will win') provided the theme song for the revolutionary struggle. With Pinochet's coup on 11th September 1973, however, Jara was quickly identified, along with many other intellectuals, artists and political figures, as a threat to the new order and was murdered soon after in the Estadio Chile. This one-off session will look at Jara's life and songs in relation to the political and cultural events that often directly inspired them. The session will also feature performances, with piano accompaniment, of a selection of the songs.