Centre for the Comparative Study of Portugal, Spain and the Americas (CEPSAM) presents -

'Cantos Cautivos: Blending Web Technologies to Create an Archive on Musical Experiences in Political Detention Centres in Chile under Pinochet’s Dictatorship'

Thursday 25 February 2021, 5 pm 

Dr Katia Chornik (Centre of Latin American Studies, Cambridge University) and Hernan Theiler (IBM Labs)

Please note this talk will be held in Spanish

The dictatorship led by General Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) operated over 1,000 centres for political detention, where torture was a central pillar (Comisión Nacional sobre Prisión Política y Tortura 2004). Cantos Cautivos (Captive Songs, www.cantoscautivos.org) is a bilingual digital archive compiling music and testimonies of experiences in these contexts. First developed in collaboration with the Chilean Museum of Memory and Human Rights, our project uses crowdsourcing, personal interviews and public events to collect primary materials. Music acts as an emotional bridge to help survivors access memories and express difficult feelings; music is also a means to sensitise audiences to human right violations. After contextualising the project, our talk explores the process of building the current website. We will discuss the decisions we have taken to connect different types of archival materials, using a category-based relational data model and internet technologies. Drawing on our experience as well as on musicological, ethnomusicological and software research on archives, memory and social responsibility, we shall demonstrate that this blended approach has been effective in achieving the main purpose of the Cantos Cautivos project, which is to contribute to the collective memory of the dictatorship and to the moral reparation and public recognition of victims and their families.

Please register here.

All welcome!   

Coordinator: Dr G. Lublin 


Please register here