Dr Katia Chornik - Research
I am currently working on a Leverhulme-funded project entitled ‘Sounds of Memory: Music and Political Captivity in Pinochet’s Chile (1973-1990)’, which investigates connections between music, cultural memory, human rights, testimony and commemoration with respect to political imprisonment in torture chambers and concentration camps during Pinochet’s regime. The project builds on my MA research on music in captivity during the Nazi and Pinochet regimes, and its public dissemination through the BBC (Canto Cautivo, a radio series and in-depth online project) and the Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Chile (since 2010, my outputs have been exhibited as part of the Museum’s permanent collection).
My research into music used as a background to, and as a form of torture, in Pinochet's detention centres received wide media coverage in the UK (by BBC News and BBC Radio 5, Channel Four, ITV, The Times, The Independent, The Scotsman, The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail, among others) and abroad (by El Mercurio, Univisión, France TV, Le Monde, Deutsche Welle, the BBC World Service, ABC and El Mundo, among others).
At present I am also completing a book on the Cuban writer and musicologist Alejo Carpentier (1904-1980), which bridges intermediality and intertextuality through examinations of the author’s literary use of music as formative, as form and as performed. The book will be published by Legenda (MHRA / Maney) in 2014. A summary is found here. In recognition for my work on Carpentier, in 2011 I was awarded the annual Research Fellowship of the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland (AHGBI) / Women in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies (WiSPS).
With Prof Rachel Cowgill (Cardiff University) and Dr Delia da Sousa (Open University), I am co-editing a volume addressing cross-cultural and multi-genre versions of the Don Juan myth. This project stems from an interdisciplinary symposium on the subject I co-organised in 2011 at the University of London’s Institute of English Studies and Institute of Musical Research.
As a musician, I worked as a full-time violinist of the Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra (Chile) before commencing my studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London. One of the arts projects most dear to me was to manage the revival of The Hussar of Death (1925), the most important silent film from Chile, which I showed for the first time in Europe at the London Film Festival and other European film festivals with live music performed by my chamber ensemble (read a BBC report).