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Beauty and Brutality: Music and Social Power in Chile, 1973

Tuesday, September 4, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Stephen Stuempfle
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Beauty and Brutality: Music and Social Power in Chile, 1973
Daniel Sheehy
Folklife, September 4, 2018

Chile, September 11, 1973

It was a pleasant pre-spring morning, a workday in Santiago. As usual, the bus running by my apartment was packed to the gills, but today there was overflow. A few daring riders stood on the bumper and held on spread-eagle. It seemed the strike by truckers and bus owners in protest of socialist president Salvador Allende’s policies had made my commute downtown even worse.

With no bus to take, I headed on foot toward the University of Chile where I had worked for two months as an exchange fellow in a University of California music program. I soon sensed, though, that something more was going on. Cars were moving faster than usual, many driving away from downtown, not toward it. When I reached the perimeter of the central city, I saw uniformed carabineros, the national police. They had blocked off the streets. People were fleeing the city center.

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Folklife is the digital magazine of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage.


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