New Book: “Prohibido cantar” [Singing Prohibited]


Mayi Marrero’s first book Prohibido cantar: canciones carpeteadas y artistas subversivos en Puerto Rico [Singing Prohibited: Filed/condemned songs and subversive artists in Puerto Rico] was recently published by Mariana Editores (in Ponce, Puerto Rico). This book deals with the political repression towards musical and artistic expressions in Puerto Rico. [Also see Marrero’s eponymous blog.]

Prohibido cantar: canciones carpeteadas y artistas subversivos en Puerto Rico presents chronicles of repression and resistance that revolved around the creators and representatives of various branches of art (music, literature, theater, dance, film, visual arts) with emphasis on the singers, musicians and composers of the nueva canción [New Song] genre in Puerto Rico [Nueva Canción puertorriqueña].

– “The jukebox at that place has pro-independence records.”

– “They sang the song they call Protest Song.”

– “There were some fairly strong phrases in the songs.”

Statements like these appear in the folders of “the subversives,” criminal files that the Police and the FBI carried for decades against citizens who supported the independence of Puerto Rico. The documents of these declassified archives reflect the constant stalking of Puerto Rican artists and the filing of their songs, records, presentations and promotion in the press, radio and television.

Artists like Davilita, Daniel Santos, Las Hermanas Castillo, Noel Hernández, Roy Brown, Pepe y Flora, Andrés Jiménez, Antonio Cabán Vale, Silverio Pérez, Jacobo Morales, ‘Sunshine’ Logroño, Jossy Latorre, José Nogueras, Tony Croatto, Danny Rivera, Lucecita, Taoné, Haciendo Punto, Moliendo Vidrio, Los Rayos Gamma and even vedette Iris Chacón, were just some of the many cultural workers who were classified by the state and federal authorities as subversives. [. . .]

[Excerpts translated by Ivette Romero. For more information, see]

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