Rethinking Post-authoritarian Chile Through its Popular Music

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This article is a study of Chilean popular music produced during the 1990s, the first decade following the end of the Pinochet dictatorship. The return of democracy and a period of strong economic growth contributed to a boom in the Chilean music industry. A wealth of music was recorded and the opportunities for listening to live music multiplied. The article's main objectives are to illuminate the ways in which Chilean popular music addressed democracy's inspiring promises and frustrating limits and to consider how Chileans used popular music to foster new post-authoritarian identities. First, it argues that music was used to reclaim national symbols that had been coopted by the dictatorship. Second, it considers the music of two generations of musicians who returned to the country after living in exile. Finally, it focuses on punk and hip-hop, the styles that produced the most significant examples of protest music in the post-authoritarian period.