The sufferings of Colombia’s internal refugees normally go unheard, but one group have found their voice and recorded a song called “The Displaced,” a tragicomic new tune by Medellin street performers Los Errantes de Antioquia.
In a project organized by Medellin’s Cultural Association and Mayor’s Office, street musicians from the city’s central Parque Berrio square, all of whom are displaced individuals from around the Antioquia department, were given the opportunity to record an album of their most popular songs.
Los Errantes singer Luis Alberto Agudelo, who escaped violent conflict in his home town 50 years ago, said he was inspired by his own experiences to write the song “The Displaced.”
He sings: “I am a campesino man who lives here in the mountain/ I have farms and a cow and gardens by my cabin/ Many men told me: you can’t be here any more/ Leave now with your family if you want to live in peace/ I am very worried, I don’t know where to go/ I’m going to be displaced with my kids and wife.”
The song will be featured alongside nineteen others on the album, all of which showcase the unique sound of Antioquian rural music.
“It helped them qualify their experiences … so that they may be recognized by society and the state,” said the project’s organizer Jose Manuel Barrio Nuevo.
Vocalist Agudelo said he was happy with the outcome.
“I was happy to be there. At first it was scary, but it turned out well. Let’s hope it sells a lot, because then we will make something out of this.”