Politics and discussion at El Sueño Existe festival 2013

The central political theme mingles with the music and performance throughout the weekend in a variety of ways. The theme is presented in talks and discussion on Friday, interspersed with Victor Jara’s music. Workshops on Saturday and Sunday explore different elements of the theme.


Our inspiring programme of speakers will include (in alphabetical order by surname):

allendebiogcoverVICTOR FIGUEROA CLARK, who will give his first major presentation following the publication of his much anticipated book, Salvador Allende, Revolutionary Democrat (Pluto, August 2013).

Jeremy_CorbynJEREMY CORBYN MP We are delighted to welcome the London MP who has provided inspiring political leadership for Chilean and other Latin American solidarity movements. (pictured right)

ANDY CROFT, poet and publisher of His Hands Were Gentle, an anthology of Victor Jara’s songs.

FRANCISCO DOMINGUEZ, the Chilean head of Latin American Studies, Middlesex University, who will outline the origins and significance of the 1973 military coup that replaced democracy with dictatorship and neo-liberal economic policies.

ADAM FEINSTEIN, biographer of poet Pablo Neruda.

MIKE GATEHOUSE, Secretary Chile Solidarity Committee 1974 to 1979, after having been imprisoned and tortured after the Pinochet coup with Chilean refugee exiles outlining their experiences before and after arriving in the UK. Opportunity for full debate on the value and possibilities of solidarity with Latin America today.

dafydd 2DAFYDD IWAN Popular and noted Welsh politician, activist and singer/songwriter who responded to the coup with power and eloquence notably in his song ‘Can Victor Jara’. (pictured left)

CHRIS SEARLE, compiler of Classrooms of Resistance.

MARIA VASQUEZ-AGUILAR, teacher, activist and chair of the London branch of the Chile 40 Years On network, who will be looking at the impact of the neo-liberal policies imposed by Pinochet – and their relevance today.


We hope to welcome a representative of the Mapuche people to speak at the festival.

We will show rare historical film footage of key national figures in the Chile Solidarity movement of the 1970s.


Debate over the weekend will focus around four workshop themes that follow from Friday’s sessions. The workshops will be interactive and aim to identify action that can be taken by all of us.

Songs, Culture and Politics
In the spirit of Victor Jara, this workshop will explore the power of music and culture in changing the world. We will focus primarily on artists in Chile before and after the coup.
Contributors include: Adam Feinstein, Carol Burtt, Andy Croft and Chris Searle.

Resisting Now
In the context of austerity, this will be an opportunity to hear about the different forms of resistance to the cuts happening now in Britain. A participatory workshop about opposing neoliberalism, with songs and debates. With contributions from: Dave Rogers of Banner Theatre, Ivan Monkton and Doug Jones.

Current Struggles in Chile
The Chilean student movement has spread across a multitude of sectors, from copper miners to indigenous groups to high school and university students. This is a real inspiration for us all. Representatives of the various movements in Chile will be present for you to ask questions and exchange ideas and experiences. Contributors will include:       Ivette Hernandez and Roberto Navarette on the student movement; a Mapuche representative; Leslie Ray; and Jessica Carolina Garrido.

The Dream Lives on in Latin America
Giant steps towards true liberation have been taken in Latin America in the past decade. Experts and activists involved in solidarity with Venezuela and Nicaragua will discuss some of the most exciting developments in the world. With: Ben Gregory and David McKnight of Nicaragua Solidarity; Emma Felber of the Bolivia Information Forum; and
Adrian Weir from Unite the Union, speaking on Venezuela.

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