This event marked 50 years since his death, which occurred just a few days after the coup led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet against President Salvador Allende on Sept. 11, 1973.
As part of Barcelona's Merce festivities, Jara's songs were performed with a "female voice" by Chilean interpreters such as Ana Tijoux, Javiera Mena, and Millaray. Catalan talent, including Ruso Sala and Silvia Tomas, also lent their voices, equally committed to giving voice to a struggle they still consider ongoing.
"We must regain the sovereignty that has been taken from us as a people," said Tomas between songs.
The artists began by moving the audience with the song "The Right to Live in Peace" and then went on to perform "Winds of the People" and "Luchin," in Javiera Mena's version. Sala sang "Sleep Little Black Boy" and "The Plow," while Tomas performed "Manifest" in its Catalan version.
"To Unfence" was one of the most well-received songs, with thousands of people singing in unison and shouting "Viva Chile!" or "The people, united, will never be defeated!"
The song "I remember you, Amanda" was sung by people of all ages, making it clear that the legacy of the leftist artist murdered by the Chilean dictatorship has not been silenced.
Mil veus per a #VictorJara a la #Mercè Barcelona. El capitalisme que va matar Jara i esclafar el procés xilè el 1973, el mateix capitalisme que s'apodera avui de Barcelona i porta el planeta a l'emergència ecosocial. A desalambrar. pic.twitter.com/AXzDZqIq8w
The text reads, "A Thousand Voices for Victor Jara at La Merce in Barcelona. The capitalism that killed Jara and crushed the Chilean process in 1973 is the same capitalism that takes over Barcelona today and leads the planet to an ecosocial emergency. To unwire."
"I cannot believe so many people came to listen to Chilean music. I am speechless," said Linda, a Chilean student who was among the thousands of people crowding the square near the Barcelona Cathedral.
For Isidre and Dolors, a couple who idolized Jara since their early youth, it was nostalgic and emotional to remember Jara's verses. The protests in Chile reminded them of what they personally experienced in Spain during the transition from the Franco regime to democracy.
The “Thousand Voices for Victor Jara” concert also featured the musicians of Inti Illimani and a band led by Borja Penalba and Marina Alcantud.
Promoted by the Generalitat, the Barcelona City Council, the Chilean government, and Casa America Catalunya, this concert was conceived as a tribute to the victims of the 1973 coup.
Happy birthday, Victor Jara! Today the Chilean singer and activist would have turned 84. Instead he was murdered days after the 1973 coup pic.twitter.com/IV5hH3PbxQ