Valparaíso -70 and 2001

Francisco Roca and the Narren theatre group made political music theatre in 1975 about pre-coup Chile, which also resulted in the recording of an LP, Valparaíso -70, mostly with Francisco’s own songs.I did not get to Valparaíso until 2001. This is an exciting city with a very cosmopolitan feeling. The city is built on a number of hills around the harbour, and the parts of the city have a distinct character from the origin of their original inhabitants – English, Croatian or whatever. We were lucky to have a great host and guide, who is an enthusiast and amateur hometown historian. He took us around Valparaíso, finding his way in its labyrinths, making us ride all the 100 year old escalators, which he was documenting for the purpose of making a documentary CD-ROM.

He also took us to the old prison, which was closed down only a few years ago. There we were guided by a former inmate. This was a very scary place, not least considering that it was one of the places used for imprisonment, isolation, and torture of political opponents of the Pinochet government. It was also strange to hear the former inmate tell about the self-organized community of the prisoners – on harsh terms of course, but still leaving some degrees of freedom.

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2 Comments

Filed under Chile, Music, South America, Theatre, Travels

2 responses to “Valparaíso -70 and 2001

  1. Klimakteriehäxan

    Did you see the review of the old record “Francisco Roca sings Violeta Parra”? It just recently appeared in a book about prog-music and was quoted in tv the other day.
    Raving reviews is what it was.

  2. The beaver

    No I didn’t – I should try to find that review! The record is still very good and has not aged the least, which is sometime the case with music one used to like in the 70’s and 80’s….

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