Focus: censorship, exile, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and literature, human rights
Sólo Le Pido A Dios
Charly Garcia and his group Serú Girán sing about Argentine reality in Canción de Alicia en el país/Alice in Wonderland. They cleverly used metaphors from Alice in Wonderland to outwit censors.
Si se calla el cantor calla la vida
Porque la vida, la vida misma es todo un canto
Si se calla el cantor, muere de espanto
La esperanza, la luz y la alegría
Si se calla el cantor se quedan solos
Los humildes gorriones de los diarios,
Los obreros del puerto se persignan
Quién habrá de luchar por su salario
'Que ha de ser de la vida si el que canta
No levanta su voz en las tribunas
Por el que sufre,´por el que no hay
Ninguna razón que lo condene a andar sin manta'
Si se calla el cantor muere la rosa
De que sirve la rosa sin el canto
Debe el canto ser luz sobre los campos
Iluminando siempre a los de abajo.
Que no calle el cantor porque el silencio
Cobarde apaña la maldad que oprime,
No saben los cantores de agachadas
No callarán jamás de frente al crimén
'Que se levanten todas las banderas
Cuando el cantor se plante con su grito
Que mil guitarras desangren en la noche
Una inmortal canción al infinito'
Si se calla el cantor . . . calla la vida
If the singer is silenced, life stops
Because life, life itself is all a song
If the singer is silenced, from horror
Dies hope, light and joy
If the singer is silenced, alone remain
The humble sparrows of the newspapers,
Port workers make the sign of the cross (or cross themselves)
Who will fight for their salaries?
What is there for life to be if the one who sings
Does not raise his voice in the stands
Por the one who suffers, for the one for which there is
No ground to be condemned to be without a blanket
If the singer stops singing, dies the rose
What is the purpose of a rose without a song
The song should be a light over the fields
Illuminating always those underneath
Do not silence the singer, because silence
Cowardly protects the cruelty that oppresses
The singers do not know of bowing down
They will never keep silent in the face of a crime
Let all of the flags be raised
When the singer stands with his shout
Let one thousand guitars serenade into the night
an immortal song to infinity
If the singer is silenced... life stops.
Voices for Freedom: Alicia Partnoy
Alicia Partnoy, a poet who survived Argentina’s “dirty war” of the 1970s, was one of thousands of “disappeared” sent to detention camps by the military dictatorship. During three years of imprisonment, she was tortured and many of her friends were killed. Expelled from Argentina in 1979, she came to the U.S. as a political refugee.
Listen to her stories below:
“41 years ago, the military coup took place. When I posted this picture, the fourth trial against the genocide perpetrators in my hometown Bahía Blanca was starting. This image, from the documentary ‘La escuelita’ by Rodrigo Caprotti, shows me walking into the area where The Little School was built, superimposed with the layout of the place that I made as evidence that I had been held in the place the military leveled to destroy precisely that evidence.”Alicia Partnoy
The Eternauta’s Wife on Kanopy
(must be a member of a participating public library to view)
Marjorie Agosín – The Exile Writer and the Literary Imagination in the Americas
University of New Mexico Latin American & Iberian Institute. 7 Mar. 2014.
Dr. Agosín discusses the experience of being exiled