Violeta del Carmen Parra Sandoval (4 October 1917 5 February 1967) was a notable Chilean folklorist and visual artist. She set the basis for "New Song," La Nueva Cancion chilena, a renewal and a reinvention of Chilean folk music which would absorb and extend its influence far beyond Chile.
Parra was born in San Carlos, province of Nuble, a small town in southern Chile. She was involved in the progressive movement and the Socialist Party of Chile. She revived the Pena, (now known as La Pena de Los Parra). A Pena is a community center for the arts and for political activism. Some think she established the first 'pena' but according to the records of the Royal Academy of Spanish Language, places such as these had been called that since 1936 (RAE). During the government of President Salvador Allende there were Penas mushrooming all over Chile. These were subsequently banned by the military regime that toppled the Allende government, making exiles and political prisoners out of whole sectors of the Chilean artistic and intellectual community. Nevertheless, there are still many Penas operating throughout Chile, Latin America, North America, Europe, and Australia. They continue to serve the expat communities that fled Chile after the coup on 11 September 1973 that overthrew President Salvador Allende.
Violeta Parra was a member of the prolific Parra family. Her brother is the notable modern poet, better known as the "anti-poet", Nicanor Parra. Her son, Angel Parra, and her daughter, Isabel Parra, were also important figures in the development of the Nueva Cancion Chilena. Their children have also mostly maintained the family's artistic traditions.
Issac 2001 Triptych version of Gracias A la Vida
Remembering Violeta Parra
Violeta Parra's Gravesite
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