VIÑA DEL MAR – Mon Laferte opened the second day of the Viña del Mar Festival, named “Night of Chilean Women,” with a powerful feminist message. Laferte invited 50 women onto the stage to sing two defiant cuecas in a clear demonstration of female power and unity. The festival continues to be a platform for social action, both in the streets and on the stage.
The defiant voice of the Chilean singer and social activist Mon Laferte rang out in Viña del Mar on the second night of the festival. After a night of protests, vandalism, and violence in the city on Sunday, Viña was on edge as the polemic figure took to the stage amid a crowd of women waving their green scarves, many with feminists slogan written across their bodies. It was a clear message of female support and unity in the face of the ongoing protests in the country.
Laferte has been a prominent figure at the forefront of the social protests in Chile over the past few months, including an investigation into metro fires. Her music combines a traditional cueca (the national dance of Chile) with heartfelt lyrics that speak out against social injustice in feminist rhetoric. Laferte has frequently shared her views through social media, encouraging women and supporting the social movement in the country. Her performance on Monday night was no different.
A Feminist Cueca
Laferte addressed the public in an emotional speech during her set as they chanted protest mantras. She spoke of her fear of attending the festival after many of her close friends and family advising her against it, and various threats she had received online. She asked her audience “Is it a crime to have an opinion?”, and defending her decision to perform at the festival was an act of defiance to those who try to quell the voice of women. “You are not alone!”, she shouted to the crowd.
It was after her seventh song, “La Trenza,” a celebration of women dedicated to her grandmother, that Laferte invited 50 of her “powerful friends that I admire the most” onto the stage with her. The voices of the women joined together to sing two songs: “La Charaguilla,” composed by Chilean folk singer Daniela Sepulveda, and “La Chinguera,” written by Cecilia Astorga and Andrea Andreu. With their celebratory lyrics of women, the songs were described by critics as a feminist representation of the traditional cueca, and during the second song, Laferte danced the cueca with Francisca Valenzuela, the Chilean singer who closed the night, waving her green scarf. “Long live the everlasting song of the singers of the world!”, chanted the 50 women to the crowd after they finished.
The artist was awarded both the Silver and Golden “Seagull” award of the festival. However, Laferte did not accept the prizes, saying that it did not feel right accepting them when Chile was in such a state of social crisis.
Katie is a student from Exeter University where she is studying English Literature and Spanish. This year she is interning with Chile Today as part of her year abroad in Latin America. She believes in the importance of a global newsroom which spreads the news of the world to every corner and gives voice to the people.