About Christina Azahar:
Christina Azahar recently completed her M.A. in Ethnomusicology at the University of California Berkeley where she is now pursuing a Ph.D. in the same program. Her previous work at the University of Georgia, where she received a B.A. in Music and Latin American and Caribbean Studies, led her to devote significant time to the study of Chilean nueva canción and its influence on popular protest music in Latin America post-1973. Drawing from this history, her current interests include urban popular musics, cultural memory, transnationalism, and the intersection of listening, space, and affect, in El Salvador, Chile, and Argentina.
About the essay "Sounds and Memories of El Salvador's Civil War in the Songs of Los Torogoces de Morazán":
Authored by a multiracial Salvadoran/U.S. American graduate student, this paper marks an effort to engage both an autobiographical and a historical perspective on Los Torogoces de Morazán’s role in the evolution of Salvadoran cultural memory. The group’s formation in 1981 established them as the primary musical expression of the FMLN guerilla forces throughout the civil war that lasted until 1992, and they now continue performing to honor those lost during the conflict’s numerous state-sanctioned mass civilian executions. In this paper I argue that the ensemble has utilized processes which Jason Stanyek and Benjamin Piekut term “intermundane collaborations,” or co-labor with the “deadness” of technology and the human dead in sonic realms that results in a rearrangement of temporal conceptions of agency, in this case connecting voices of the past to multiple presents and futures. I maintain that these processes sparked intense reactions to histories of violence during the war despite my not having direct connections to the events discussed. Therefore, the paper uses personal interjections to sustain my subsequent argument that through the leakage of sound and images from their original sources during the war, collective memories of death and violence can be experienced in a multi-sensory or embodied manner. After a short historical contextualization, this paper will discuss the circulation of Los Torogoces de Morazán’s music through Radio Venceremos, and will conclude by employing Diana Taylor’s work on memory and transmission to elaborate on theories of intermundane collaboration in Los Torogoces de Morazán’s song “El corrido de El Mozote.”