The fiercely-spirited Ana Tijoux performed for hundreds as part of Millenium Park’s Downtown Sound program on 23 July 2012. Featuring tracks from her newly released album “Bala” and from her formerly Grammy nominated record “1977” (Latin Alternative music category), this rabble-rouser also made time during her set to offer a few shout outs to some local Chicago groups, particularly the Mental Health Movement.

As a Chicago activist involved in antiviolence and antiracism organizing, my head was spinning with excitement when I learned that Gozamos had secured an interview with Tijoux. I had numerous questions I wanted to pose ranging from her political lyrics to her own involvement in Chile’s organizing community and recent collaborations with Arizona’s undocumented organizers to her own journey as an MC in a predominantly hypermasculine hip hop scene. However, it seems that a mix of exhaustion and a blazing hot sun contributed to the contentious responses I got from Tijoux. It is my hope that next time we come across each other – both as activists and artists striving to see real change in our respective communities – that we can have a more amicable dialogue that moves beyond our perceived roles.

Following the interview is a newly released music video featuring her visit to Arizona and collaboration with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), National Immigrant Youth Alliance and Puente Movement.

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