In 2017, Junior Jein, a rapper from Buenaventura [Colombia], released a song that became the anthem of a protest. But he did not appear in the music video. Instead, karaoke-style lyrics play alongside a CGI television set that shows clips of police motorcades patrolling the city, cops raiding neighborhoods, and children choking on tear gas. In the background, a steady fire burns through a chain link fence bordered by the yellow and green flags of Buenaventura.
The chorus repeats: “ESMAD, fucking ESMAD. Esa es la respuesta que el gobierno nos da.” ESMAD, that’s the response that the government gives us.
Junior Jein’s song, aptly named “Fucking ESMAD,” goes on to describe the conditions of state violence in the city: “If we ask for water, they send us ESMAD.Continue reading