Written by Joan Jara, who was a lifelong companion, Víctor: An Unfinished Song is an epic narrative, shaped from Joan’s autobiographical look at the popular culture cultivated in the soil of the Chilean revolution during the government of Salvador Allende.
A memoir about an unfinished song from an interrupted revolution, a call for social justice. The work is the result of a promise made by Joan, after the murder of her companion by the Pinochet dictatorship, when she was on her way to exile: “I had to (…) tell the outside world, in the name of those who could not do it, about the sufferings of the people (…). I would do everything in my power so that Víctor, through his music and recordings, continued working for the cause he had embraced as his own. His killers had underestimated the power of the song.”
Joan tells from living memory about her love story with Víctor, in her political and social context, as a militant of the Chilean Communist Party (PCC) whose generation of social fighters built a new culture, direct and intense communication with the broad masses , with roots in popular traditions, to strengthen Chilean working class organizations and build a more just society. Joan presents the trajectory of Víctor Jara, in the context of the Chilean class struggle, in the 1960s/1970s, he collectively built a popular culture, such as the New Chilean song, present in the populations, in factories, in the countryside, in student demonstrations, with the contents of social justice and class solidarity.
Originally published in England in 1983, Víctor: an unfinished song was also printed in countries such as Germany, Sweden, Russia, Italy, Japan, Belgium, Denmark, Brazil, Finland, among others. This work published by Expressão Popular was updated, corrected and revised according to the most recent Chilean edition, by the Víctor Jara Foundation (2020). In addition to a beautiful photo album, this book brings readers a selection of Víctor’s songs in the cultural and political context of his creation, and the last unfinished song against fascism and socialism, written during his imprisonment in Chile Stadium (current Víctor Jara Stadium), next to 5 thousand prisoners: “(…) Astonishment like what I live/like what I die, astonishment./ To see myself among so many and so many/moments of infinity/ in which silence and scream/ are the goals of this song./What I see I have never seen,/what I have felt and what I feel/will make the moment come forth…”
About the author
Joan Jara – Joan Alison Turner Roberts is a human rights activist, dancer, choreographer, dance teacher, and writer, widow of Chilean composer, musician, singer and theater director Víctor Jara. She was born in 1927, in London, into a proletarian family sympathetic to socialism, she experienced the Second World War, with Nazi air attacks on the British population, and discovered the meaning of freedom in dance. She trained as a dancer at Sigurd Leeder’s school (1947-1950) and joined Ballets Jooss (1955), in which she performed roles such as the guerrilla, in The Green Table, one of the masterpieces of the 20th century, critical of war. imperialist. She married Chilean Patrício Bunster (1953-1960), a fellow dancer and choreographer, with whom she began her life in Chile, with whom she had her first daughter, Manuela (1960). She joined the Chilean National Ballet and taught dance at the University of Chile. Between 1965 and 1973, she actively integrated initiatives to bring modern dance and popular sectors together. In 1960, she began her relationship with Víctor Jara, with whom she had her second daughter, Amanda, and with whom she participated in the artists’ movement that supported the Popular Unity government. With the launch of the 1973 business-military coup, and the murder of Víctor Jara, Joan was exiled, along with her daughters Manuela and Amanda, to England. From that day on, she adopted the name Joan Jara and spent ten years in militant activities denouncing human rights violations in Chile. She returned in 1984 and, with Patricio Bunster, founded the Centro de Dança Espiral, and in 1993, together with her daughters, the Víctor Jara Foundation to promote and publicize her life and work.
The book is available at: www.expressaopopular.com.br.
Editing: Thales Schmidt