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ARGENTINA: MUSIC AS EMPOWERMENT CULTURE

The flag of the battle for equality has been flying high in the most southern country of the Latin American continent for a long time. From the equal marriage law passed in 2010, the gender identity law passed in 2012 - allowing transgender people to be treated according to their self-perceived identity and registered in their personal documents with the corresponding name and gender (one of the most advanced in the world in terms of freedoms and rights for the LGBTIQ+ community) - to the recent approval of the law approving the legality of abortion, which establishes induced abortion as legal and free. Argentina is a very rich country in terms of equality factors, however, and beyond all these achievements, that not even the most powerful countries in the world have achieved, socially, the acceptance of gender as an equal point is still difficult to accept in many macho areas of society. In today's article, we examine one of the most empowering means of Latin American culture that has brought many a change in the past and continues to do so.


Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

The global dimension of the power that women have today in many countries, especially in Western countries, is the strongest and most effective power that I have felt on a social level since I came to this world, and at the same time it is something that makes me ask myself over and over again: why were we silent for so long?, or why did I naturalize it?, or why did I let them treat me like this?, or why did I put my head down so many times? And yes, I wanted to start this article narrating in the first person because it is what I feel. As an Argentine woman, and being far away from there, I celebrate and I am proud that many of those voices - that for so long were silenced and in the shadows - today, are heard. They shine and are respected and respected, especially within the music industry.


I left the country at a time when deconstruction was emerging, and I saw from afar the process of how the patriarchal system was breaking down in the music industry, and how important the new generations of artists were and are for today's society. Because the musician does not only make music, the musician transmits a message that influences in its great majority to all their audience. The musician is the cable to land of many people, and in Argentina particularly, the musician of today breaks stereotypes and educates new and previous generations, colleagues, friends, families, the public, even the most powerful people in the industry. Along with this deconstruction, I saw something as important as the use of inclusive language, a change that is not only demanded by the youngest, a social change that within the Government of the Nation, has come to be presented as a resolution in order to balance the scales, so that every human being has the same rights without discrimination.


"Several projects and artists have become a reflection of patriarchal deconstruction in Latin American culture."

I learned, and I learn day by day of thousands of things that happen today in my country although I am far away from it. It makes me proud in an abysmal way, to tell my colleagues of music is her passion, the battle that Argentina fights day by day against gender inequality. There are several projects and artists that have become a reflection of patriarchal deconstruction in Latin American culture, making the environment a better and more equal place. For this reason, I have selected some empowering examples of how music makes Argentina a more egalitarian culture.


Photo by Denis Vasil'ev on Unsplash

"In October 2018, Argentina passed the first law worldwide that establishes a mandatory female quota for music events."


FEMALE QUOTA LAW


The massive struggle undertaken for gender equality within festivals has had a result never before achieved in another country in the world. In October 2018, Argentina passed the first law worldwide that establishes a mandatory female quota for music events, granting 30% of the lineup to female artists in live music events that make the development of the country's music industry. The initiative for this law was created by singer Celsa Mel Gowland, who during that period acted as the vice-president of the National Institute of Music (Inamu), together with more than 700 women musicians from all over the country.



"It is a space where womxn play the leading role."

GRL PWR FESTIVAL


The female talent in the Latin American country is immense, as well as the need to make it visible on the stages where, as in the rest of the world, the context continues to be inequality. Under the slogan, "There is no lack of girl bands, there is a lack of more GRL PWR festivals", the GRL PWR Festival was born in 2018. This event, in addition to making grids with female artists and dissidents, contemplates days of reflection on the inequality of conditions, workshops, exhibitions, among other activities, turning this show into a space of struggle against the established male dominance.The festival is staffed entirely by women both on and behind the stage. From the artists to the backliners, security personnel, bartenders, exhibitors, lighting, sound engineers, producers, among other roles, the event is an all-female and feminist space, which does not mean that it is a festival for women only, but rather a festival made for anyone who wants to enjoy a different space, a community space, a space of freedom.


This empowered musical movement has already had several editions in different cities of the country, becoming a space of reference in the struggle for gender equality, and thus also gaining identity in the Argentine music industry.




"The paradigm shift we are pushing for is not just about gender, but about the artistic."

Barbi Recanati


GOZA RECORDS


"The paradigm shift we are pushing for is not just about gender, but about the artistic. It is necessary to eliminate binarism. There is an idea that because you are a woman you must have a disproportionate talent and that is not true, art does not have to be perfect" said Barbi Recanati, musician and founder of GOZA RECORDS, an inclusive record label that promotes Argentine rock made by women and seeks to level the music field. In GOZA, there is no musical genre criteria or a specific style established, there is freedom of expression, there is harmony and there is continuous support among colleagues.


The experience of this label also led to a series of meetings throughout the country with "Goza Tour", where Barbi together with various special guests of diverse backgrounds in the music scene (including Shirley Manson, singer of Garbage), talked, learned, exchanged experiences, and discussed topics like feminism and inclusion in the music industry, a space that also has representatives of local projects committed to music management and women.




TU MÚSICA HOY


This project gives me immense pride every time I mention it, not only because I know its founders Lulú Mateo and Ceci Gimenez, but also because I know that everything they have achieved with TMH has been with an effort and a passion for music as great as that of the music is her passionate team. Lulú and Ceci worked together as producers for a TV channel and were tired of presenting ideas without receiving the importance they deserved.


Lulú Mateo & Ceci Gimenez

Bored that communication in the industry is so monotonous in an era where everything is governed by social networks, they used all their powers to create TU MÚSICA HOY, one of the most important communication platforms in the region. It is a platform that not only informs but also produces unforgettable encounters between the most important musicians of the Spanish-speaking music scene and their fans, a project that also has its own space on Argentinean TV. Although at the beginning and beyond their contacts, it was hard for the industry to trust their project and what they proposed, these two empowered women have become the representatives of Tik Tok LatAm, being the interview gauges with the most important artists of the continent. I am proud for everyone to know them.



Looking at the GRL PWR Festival, the Argentinian quota law, or any of the countless female figureheads of equality empowerment, the global music industry can learn from the most southern country of the Latin American industry in many regards. Of course, many conservative and machismo-related manners are still to be left behind - but Argentina is surely on its way to a future of equality and a music industry of quality on all levels.