Diandra’s 2019 Music Highlights
Protest song of the year – “Un violador en tu camino”
Traveling to Chile, many protesters of the current regime and state of affairs incorporated art into their demonstrations. Ana Tijoux also contributed with the single and video for Cacerolazo, [MV] featuring audio and video of the protests and named after the hitting-pots-and-pans form of demonstration that emerged from Chile in the ‘70’s.
Yet the major anthem of the feminist contingent was Un Violador en tu Camino.
Created by the Lastesis collective and based on the writings of Argentinian theorist Rita Laura Segato, the title translates to “A Rapist in Your Path.” The group conveys that the problem is not how a victim acts or is dressed, but that rapists rape and are let go or even supported by society and legal systems. The song and accompanying performance debuted in Santiago on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Paula Cometa spoke for Lastesis:
“It adapted to the moment that we are now living in Chile. The violence and the human rights violations that women have been exposed to recently,’’ she said. In one part of the song, performers squat down in an echo of a position which female protesters are forced to assume on arrest. “It’s a simple form of torture and punishment carried out by the Chilean police,” Cometa said.”https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/06/chilean-anti-rape-anthem-becomes-international-feminist-phenomenon
Versions later appeared around Latin America and the world, with protesters adapting the lyrics to their particular situations, including versions performed in Quechua and even Spanish sign language. Older Chilean women also formed Lastesis Senior to gather their generations.
Countries where it has been performed include: Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Greece, Germany, Colombia, France, Spain, the UK, Uruguay, Argentina, Cyprus, India, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Italy, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Nicaragua, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Switzerland, Slovakia, Venezuela, and Tunisia.
According to an English-language guide to performing the song: “The chant deliberately addressed the failure of the justice system to protect women. To double down on this, the lyrics of the chant quote a stanza in a Chilean police anthem, which says, “Sleep calmly, innocent girl/ Without worrying about the bandit/For over your smiling, sweet dreams/watches your loving cop.”
This brief study of the song’s memetic/viral quality discusses how the song was adapted in Puerto Rico:
“In the initial Puerto Rican adaptation of “Un violador en tu camino,” CEPG altered the original concluding lines from a critique of the “carabineros,” or Chilean police, to one aimed at girls who might see the performance or hear the song: “Duerme tranquila, niña inocente, sin preocuparte del charlatán, que por tus sueños, dulce y sonriente, donde te encuentres las feministas vamos a luchar.” (Sleep peacefully, innocent girl, without worrying about the charlatan, because wherever you are, for your sweet dreams, us feminists will fight.)”https://nacla.org/news/2019/12/27/un-violador-en-tu-camino-virality-feminist-protest
It broke through to the US with performances –interventions, as Lastesis calls them—at Penn State, Los Angeles, the Brooklyn Bridge, and in front of the New York courthouse for the Harvey Weinstein trial. Lastesis themselves appeared to direct it in front of the White House.
Club America’s Under-17 soccer players drew backlash after mocking the song in their locker room. Other videos of men trying to parody the song have surfaced, and the Mexican Department of the Navy is investigating one video that appears to have been made by Marines.
Protesters who performed the song in Istanbul were dispersed by the police, and seven were later detained and currently face trial for a charge that can lead to six months to two years in prison. Eight female lawmakers also performed the song in Turkey’s General Assembly, as others held up victims of femicide.