Tu nos dices que debemos sentarnos
pero las ideas solo pueden levantarnos
“You tell us that we should sit down, but ideas can only make us stand up”. This is how Ana Tijoux kick starts this powerful song. More than a hit, this is an anthem for all the people who’ve ever been oppressed.
I am aware that Chile is not a well known country across the world. Just this week itself, here in the USA, I have talked to two different people who think that I spend time in Chile because “of course, they speak Portuguese, like you”. Sharing this song I am not going to tell you much about Chile (we have another section for that), but I hope to awaken your curiosity for the pretty amazing things happening down there right now. Even when it comes to music.
Ana Tijoux is Chilean, but was born in Europe where her parents were exiled during Pinochet’s dictatorship. Growing up amongst immigrants from all corners of the world, she clearly developed a sensitivity to observe and understand that life does not roll the same way for all of us.
“Somos Sur” sings out loud about pride. Not just Chilean, not only Latin, but the pride and self-respect that all people across the word who are being oppressed should find strength in. Including Palestine. And this is where Palestinian rapper Shadia Mansour comes in, to take the feel of this song to an even more goosebump-worthy level. Also brought up in exile, this time in the UK, Shadia has a lot in common with Ana Tijoux. Check this interview with both of them and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Ana manages to mix music and politics in such a beautiful and touching way. I saw her live in Chile, and it was electrifying. This song is very humane, it carries an empowering message to silenced people across the globe. “Somos Sur” restores my faith in music, by mixing deep meaningful lyrics with what is still a very radio friendly song. Keep an open mind but learn how to also stick to your culture, be proud of where you come from. Don’t let others take advantage of you and strip you off the things that make you who you are.