According to psychologists, people who have suffered from violent acts can lose the personal narrative thread that helps create their identity. When those traumas occur, victims are often unable to find the words to express the memories of what happened to them. Where words fail music can communicate, giving victims a starting point to reestablish their personal narrative and reconnect with the self. This essay argues that Aterciopelados’ punk infused music of the early 1990s reflected and engaged with Colombian identity, which was enduring yet another traumatic period fraught with violence and uncertainty. By looking at the ways Aterciopelados grows out of and expands earlier punk practices, it is apparent that their hybrid musical forms and confrontational lyrics offer insights into the ways that the group bears witness to the traumas of ongoing social violence and instability, as well as how their music becomes part of a larger body of posttraumatic culture.


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pp. 38-53
Launched on MUSE
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