Interview With Bruno Cortina

Bruno Cortina is a nicaraguan composer and musician who plays various instruments, mainly the guitar, bass, keyboard and percussion. Bruno is also a talented singer, singing mostly as a soloist but also in his previous experimental rock band Nemi Pipali. Aside, Bruno is in charge of production and musical composition in Cierto Güis Producciones, he works on creating soundtracks of cinematographic projects and enjoys his role as a music teacher for children and adults.

WHAT WERE THE MOTIVES THAT DROVE YOU TO STAND UP AGAINST DANIEL ORTEGA’S UNCONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT?

After almost 12 years we have lived under the rule of a corrupt and rotten government, led by a violator president; not only is he a sexual offender but also a violator of the national constitution and consequently a violator of Nicaraguans’ human rights (aside of being a traitor and a “vendepatria” *). The unforgivable massacre committed against an innocent and defenseless nation on April 19th; the terrorism and death that has been brought upon us; the accumulation of power after controlling all of the state institutions for the benefit of his party (FSLN); the human rights violations; abuse after abuse linked to bribery, threats, and nepotism; the links to drug trafficking; the misappropriation of funds destined to improve the national health and education; the hijacking of the national culture and sovereignty; amongst many other forms of corruption, are some of the motives why Nicaragua urgently needs a transition of power into a new government that allows its reconstruction through justice and democratization.

RESISTANCE AGAINST ORTEGA AND HIS ALLIES IS HAPPENING IN MANY WAYS: ON THE STREETS, SCREENS, MINDS. WITH YOUR MUSIC AND VERSES YOU’RE SUPPORTING IN A VERY IMPORTANT WAY THE PROTESTS AGAINST THE CURRENT REGIME IN NICARAGUA. COULD YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR PROTEST?

Music can never miss in a dispute of this magnitude, art is an essential tool that strengthens and motivates the people. It’s a way that allows us to transform and channel the outside world through a creative process where the synesthetic alchemy of emotions and sensations emerge. If we recognize art’s ability to unite people and communicate to our whole planet, we could achieve great and unimaginable things. As a composer it has been a great inspiration to create and share with the people this transformation; it has been strange to accept that this event is somehow a gift from history, where the same need for creativity arises together with all of the other struggles. It is a duty and responsibility as an artist in these times more than ever to be at the disposition of our liberation, because we’re the voice of the people, we’re an expanding force that works on levels way beyond the reach of bullets.

I KNOW THAT THERE ARE ALREADY PLENTY OF MUSICIANS WORKING TOGETHER FOR THE RESISTANCE, CREATING NEW SONGS AND EVEN ORGANIZING AND PARTICIPATING IN ARTISTIC ACTIVITIES ALONGSIDE THE DEMONSTRATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN ORGANIZED THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY. HOW DO YOU THINK THAT ARTISTS ARE MAKING THINGS HARDER FOR ORTEGA’S GOVERNMENT?

These last few weeks it has been impossible to make any cultural sit-ins, which would usually join other demonstrations, marches or vigils: people are simply very scared. Right now, we are more valuable alive. It is truly a huge risk to be on the streets exposed without any protection or any of the needed security measures, as we could be attacked by the “Murderous” National Police together with mobs at any given moment.

We have had to change the system to bring said production and diffusion of all the different art forms, despite all of the artistic means and spaces as well as cultural workplaces being practically non-existent at the moment. It is thanks to social media that we’ve been able to slowly develop a communication network that connects different artist from all over the country. This indeed inspires, motivates and connects different societal sectors and therefore weakens the oppressive system, which in turn makes us grow in size and leaves us more united.

* Vendepatria: Nicaraguan term that refers to someone as being a ‘traitor of their homeland’