“Entertaining” the Notion of Change: The Transformative Power of Performance in Argentine Pop

Mara Favoretto, Timothy D. Wilson



All music can be used to create meaning and identity, but music born in a repressive political environment, in which freedom is lacking, changes the dynamic and actually facilitates that creation of meaning. This article explores some practices of protest related to pop music under dictatorship, specifically the Argentine military dictatorship of 1976-83, and what happens once their raison d’ệtre, the repressive regime, is removed. We examine pre- and post-dictatorship music styles in recent Argentine pop: rock in the 1970s-80s and the current cumbia villera culture, in order to shed light on the relative roles of politics, economy and culture in the creation of pop music identity. Timothy Wilson is Assistant Professor of Spanish literature at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is known for his work on Argentine rock music and dictatorship, and his research interests are in the areas of government-sponsored terror and popular cultures of resistance. Mara Favoretto is a Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She specialises in contemporary popular music and cultural expressions of resistance in Latin American society.


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Popular Entertainment Studies ISSN 1837-9303