The power of art in the face of oppression

Gripped by violent protests, the Chilean capital of Santiago has been buoyed by a creative outburst in the face of government curfews.

On Sunday night (27 October) Chilean soprano Ayleen Jovita Romero broke the curfew imposed by President Sebastián Piñera in the wake of recent mass protests across the South American nation.

From her balcony in Santiago, Romero sings Victor Jara’s ‘El derecho de vivir en paz’ (‘The right to live in peace’) to the silent city. Her performance is given a rapturous response from neighbours living in the surrounding apartment buildings. Watch the video below in full to hear the crowd’s cheers.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts