March 23, 2007 – The Social Movements Team hosted “Songs of Battle and Hope: An Introduction to Latin American Progressive Music” at Conspiracy Garden Café. This hybrid lecture/performance represented an alternative method for promulgating, informing and inspiring.
Social Movements intern, Cecilia Lero, with the help of artist and activist, Jess Santiago, presented five songs dating from 1965 to 1996, representing the countries of Chile, Argentina, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia, and illustrating the birth, growth, and lasting influences of the Nueva Canción movement on the political and artistic landscape in Latin America. Key themes included the role of music in exploring and defining national identity and the potentially powerful role of music in political organization.
The audience consisted of a mix of activists, artists, and music-lovers in general. The presentation raised questions of Filipino national music forms and identity, as well as the historical role of music in Philippine political movements and its potential use in the future.