Chilean songwriter and visual artist Violeta del Carmen Parra-Sandoval knew the hardship of poverty from an early age.
Growing up in a large family and living in politically-oppressed Chile,
she turned to songwriting when only seven years of age. From then on,
she employed her youthful musical talents together with her brothers and sisters,
surviving by performing in circuses, bars, and coffee houses. Over time, she established
herself as a solo artist recognized in her own right.
Her first marriage in 1938 coincided with a change for the better in Chile's political fortunes.
Following her second marriage in 1949, she travelled to Europe where she stayed for two years,
exploring the power of her own and her native country's song. Following her return to Chile,
she devoted herself throughout the 1950's to the collection of Chilean folk songs, stories,
and poetry, an experience which coloured her personal songwriting with an independent,
She is recognized as one of the founder voices of La Nueva Cancion Chilena
(the Chilean New Song), the political folk movement that emerged across Latin America at the time.
Her life ended tragically in suicide.
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