From ‘we shall prevail’ to ‘weapon of struggle’: Populism, Chile's Unidad Popular government and Nueva Canción
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-19, 00:03 authored by Gonzalo CarrascoGonzalo Carrasco, Daniell BendrupsDaniell Bendrups, Raul Sanchez-UrribarriRaul Sanchez-Urribarri
The Chilean nueva canción ('new song') movement is one of Latin America's most enduring musical phenomena. Strongly associated with the rise of left-wing political forces in the 1960s, and then with anti-dictatorship protests in the 1970s and 1980s, nueva canción is deeply embedded in Chilean political consciousness. This article provides a new perspective on the movement by exploring its populist elements and considering these in relation to Communist Party cultural policy. It focuses on a significant historical moment - the Chilean Communist Party's 1971 Assembly on the Chilean Revolution and the Problems of Culture - to ascertain how the political potential of 'Chilean new song' was viewed by this key partner in the Chilean coalition government. Through this examination, this article offers new insight into the political positioning of CNS, illustrating the movement's socio-political role in terms of the broader ideological principles and imperatives of the vía chilena ('Chilean road') to socialism.