Performing Exile, Music and Politics: El Sueño Existe Festival in Wales and the Legacy of Víctor Jara

Rivera Volosky, Ignacio. 2019. Performing Exile, Music and Politics: El Sueño Existe Festival in Wales and the Legacy of Víctor Jara. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis examines how diasporic, musical and political identities are performed, contested and reaffirmed in El Sueño Existe, a festival of Latin American music and politics that takes place every two years in Machynlleth, Wales. Set up in 2005, this festival commemorates the legacy of Chilean artist Víctor Jara and the movement ‘New Chilean Song’ of which he was a part. Victor Jara was a musician and theatre director who was killed a few days after the Chilean Military Coup in September 1973, and who since his death has become a symbol of international solidarity and the defence of human rights (McSherry 2015b). The methodology is based on a performance epistemology (Taylor 2003) and included my own participation in the festival as a member of the public, a member of the organisation, and a musician. In addition, I have conducted interviews with several festival-goers, focusing on their biographies, experiences and opinions of Victor Jara, New Chilean Song and the festival.

Based on discussions of cultural performance (Turner 1987; Taylor 2007), the sociology of music (Frith 1996b; DeNora 2000) and theory of performativity (Bell 1999; Fortier 1999), I suggest that the festival is a space that simultaneously acts to both suspend and to create normativity. I argue that El Sueño Existe festival is a liminal space for Chilean exiles, international musicians and political activists which ultimately works to reaffirm political, musical and diasporic identities, through the re-enactment of a set of repertoires that promote a sense of belonging and identification. The process of reaffirmation is not exclusively created by the means of breaking normativity in a symbolic domain; it is also constructed through the reproduction of hierarchies and discourses that create membership among the people who belong to the community.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00026282

Keywords:

Performance, Exile, Music, Politics, Festivals, Víctor Jara

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology

Date:

31 March 2019

Item ID:

26282

Date Deposited:

24 Apr 2019 13:50

Last Modified:

09 Jun 2021 11:57

URI:

https://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/26282

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