40th anniversary of the coup against Chile...here's a concept I'm trying to develop and spread

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Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture
40th anniversary of the coup against Chile...here's a concept I'm trying to develop and spread

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture





(I need feedback on this...I see it as a possible framework for events tied to the 40th anniversary of the coup, intended to explore not only what happened then, but how that horrible event led to changes in economic and social values that are still damaging the vast majority of the human race today.  Please offer any suggestions, any thoughts for ideas or groups that should be included that I've left out, and any other suggestions that come to mind.  Alos, I phrased some of the ideas in the specifically for a U.S. audience, so please offer any ideas as to how to more properly "internationalize" the concept I'm developing here, with your assistance).



Chile. 1973.

The FIRST 9/11:


What it did to THEM-

What it did to US-

What it DOES to the world today-






1)            To remind people of the original event(the U.S.-backed overthrow of the democratic government of Chile);


2)            To explore

a)What happened;

b)Who caused it;

c) What it did to


    II)The World

   III)The U.S.




3)            To utilize

a) historical materials

    I) text and primary source materials

   II) video footage, film footage, and audio actualities of the day of the coup and the days immediately afterwords and of the events leading to the coup;


b) possible re-enactments of some of the events(someone perfoming Allende’s farewell radio speech, for example);


c)recollections from Chileans and others who were in Chile at the time of the coup;


d)cultural work from the era(recordings or performances of “New Song/Cancion Nueva” music, displays of poster art associated with the Popular Unity movement, film footage of musicians, dancers, actors of the era in performance at the time

(option: recreation of a “pena”-sorry, that needs a “tilde” over the “n” but my computer won’t type one-the cultural evenings invented by Violeta Parra)



e)screening of documentary films about the coup and related subjects(such as the recently completed documentary about the life of Victor Jara);


f)call to the cultural workers of today to create original works exploring themes tied to the coup, such as

         I) what American participation in        the coup said then and says now about this country?

        II) what changes occurred, not only in Chile, but throughout the rest of the world AND in the U.S., as a result of the coup, and how those developments helped change global consciousness from a sense of human connection to a huge emphasis on competition and “selling”, to a sense of “each of us against everybody else”?





         III) What happens to a country and a world when everyone is forced to commodify themselves, and must “outsell” each of their fellow humans at some level just to survive?


                    IV) What choices to people make when their dreams are crushed and the doors they were going to walk through are locked?


                     V) What do you sing when you can’t sing your OWN song?


                    VI) Other themes as they develop:




Target Audiences/People this event SHOULD Connect With:









  1. People who went through that event(in Chile and other countries) and who need to see that what they worked for then(and what some people they cared about gave their lives for then)was not lost and that the effort to reshape life that was brought to a temporary end when Chilean democracy was crushed was not pointless;
  2. Working folks of all ages who never knew what was being created in Chile or what was taken from them in the coup, and who need to find the ways to gain or regain what was taken NOW;
  3. Young people who were raised without any knowledge of what happened in that era, how it damaged their lives, and who are still young enough to gain a full awareness of their conditions;
  4. Indigenous groups(who may or may not know of the ways in which indigenous culture was crushed in Chile during the coup, and who can relate that to their own subjugation and to the commodification/trinketization of FN culture today;
  5. Creative workers, who would gain from learning about an era when music, art, theatre, and dance spoke to working people in a direct, immediate way, and in which much of what was created was made by working-class people themselves and arose from their reality;


The basic idea would be to work with these groups, first, as particular subsets, educating them on the history as needed and on the related post-1973 social transformations that occurred, then bringing all the groups together in a forum in which barriers would be broken down and all would gain from listening to the way each group absorbed and perceived all that was being discussed; 

In the end, you’d want, in addition to what each group would bring to the event, to see some sort of common projects developed that tied together the larger sensibilities of all those involved.


Wow. That is a tall order - don't know where to start. Have you been following progressive media down there? http://www.rebelion.org/ is always a good compendium (for all of Latin America, not just Chile).

One of many repercussions is the extraordinarily high tuition fees at Chilean post-secondary institutions, which pretty much shut out bright working-class kids, in a country where there is a huge gap between rich and poor.

I'm glad you mentioned the ferocious repression against Indigenous peoples' claims, as that was an impact of the military coups in Chile and a few years later in Argentina (unfortunately, I think practically all Indigenous people in Uruguay were massacred or totally assimilated). Since most of our friends who were refugees from those countries were urban intellectuals or trade unionists, we were less keenly aware of what was going on either in the countryside or in what were still Indigenous lands, at least by their use.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I will start checking out that link, lagatta.  Thanks.  Also, I'm probably going to cross-post this in "Activism".

hfx_ben hfx_ben's picture

I hope we use this occasion to remind ourselves how "political realism" has draconian results.



Yes, a few days ago I wrote to friends in Argentina at it was an anniversary of the coup there, but not a significant number of years (the coup in Argentina was on 24 March 1976, 2 1/2 years after Chile's). In-between there was a coup in little Uruguay, and of course Brazil had been under the boot for over a decade then.

And of course the coup in Chile was on the 11th of September, so that resonates somehow... Every year there is a commemoration here for that other violent event... The Chilean refugees I know are all getting on in years, of course...


I can't help but notice the lack of humorless trolls apologizing for the American CIA in this thread. Nary even a gif or two. tsk tsk Seems theyve fallen down on the job.