Alex Anwandter is an outspoken critic of discrimination in his native Chile.
Yet it came as somewhat of a surprise when his music became identified with a murder that sent shockwaves through the South American country.
Anwandter tells the story.
“What happened is that earlier this year in March this kid called Daniel Zamudio, he was a victim of torture and actually died eventually, by some neo-Nazis who attacked him because he was gay. I won’t go into the details of what they did to him because it’s like really horrible, but it was horrible enough to shake up my country in regards with the environment of discrimination we live in.”
The brutal murder spurred a media frenzy.
In the midst of it, the victim’s family spoke about how Anwandter had been Zamudio’s favorite artist.
They played his music at the widely covered funeral and urged him to continue speaking out against homophobia in Chile.
The experience inspired Anwandter to create a music video that was a tribute to Jennie Livingston’s 1990 documentary about New York’s queer subculture, “Paris is Burning”.
“My idea was that we in Chile don’t have an equivalent of Paris is Burning. We are that far behind. Like people do not accept any type of diversity, nor do they get to actually see diversity. So my intention was to show, if you wish, sexual minorities or diversity in a very beautiful light,” Anwandter explains.
The final result is the video to his song “Como Puedes Vivir Contigo Mismo”.
When asked whether he now calls himself an activist, Anwandter isn’t so sure at first.
But then he says, “I’ve been a bit surprised now reading press releases or stuff calling me “singer and activist.” I’m like what? I’m an activist? But I guess, I’m fine with it. When I found out that my visibility could actually help get a message across, I felt comfortable with that. So yeah, I guess I’m an activist. A closeted activist.”
Subscribe and follow The World’s Global Hit