We Love Music: Songs of Mapuche resistance & Chilean protest

Protests against structural inequality and oppression have continued for nine weeks in Chile. In Wallmapu, Indigenous Mapuche territory, resistance and repression never stopped.

Over the past weeks and months, Toward Freedom has posted six songs from six weeks of protest and seven more songs from seven weeks of protest. Music is ever-present as part of this resistance movements, so here go nine more songs from nine weeks of protest.

  1. Lucharé – Wechekeche ñi Trawün & various artists

Mapuche rap group Wechekeche ñi Trawün produced this combative track, “I will struggle,” honoring the ongoing street protest movement and condemning repression.

  1. El Otro Chile – Portavoz & Coro Infanto Juvenil

Also Mapuche, rapper Portavoz recorded a new version of his 2012 song, “The Other Chile,” this time with a choir of children and teens from the Araucanía region of southern Chile.

  1. Marichiweu – various artists

“Don’t lose hope. We’re going to see a new world born,” sings Escala Mercalli, one of 13 artists who united to create this powerful track titled after the Mapuche cry signifying “10 times we will win.”

  1. Kiñe Liftun (Una limpieza) – Luanko & DJ Seltzer

Rapping in Mapudungun, the Mapuche language, Luanko features in several songs explicitly addressing current protests, including the above Casaparlante collaboration. In this track, he highlights the importance of cleansing and renewal, with an accompanying video filmed out on the land.

  1. Paz – Daniel Chiang

Singer-songwriter Daniel Chiang released this song, “Peace,” in 2016, inspired by Mapuche and Palestinian resistance. This month, he released a new music video for the song with images of recent protests by Chilean photographer Martín Obreque.

  1. La canción es protesta – Yorka

“I don’t sing to sing. Song is protest,” Yorka sings with a collective of other musicians and artists gathered outside against a backdrop of political graffiti. “This revolution will be feminist,” they note in the introduction to the song.

  1. Me pongo la capucha – Jorge Castro

Audio to this song circulated in Chilean social networks this month, largely as “author unknown.” It is Jorge Castro’s re-writing of the lyrics to a song fellow southern Chilean singer-songwriter Nicasio Luna wrote during social movement protests that paralyzed the Aysén region in 2012.

  1. Quememos el reino – Camila Moreno

“Let’s burn the kingdom, friends,” indie singer-songwriter Camila Moreno sings with the same collective of women music workers that accompanied the Yorka track above.

  1. La Carta – Mon Laferte

Mon Laferte covers one of Violeta Parra’s most famous songs, describing a letter informing her of her brother’s arrest in a crackdown on a union action in 1962.