This is the Athletica Newsletter - a bi-weekly mail out curated by a new artist every volume, with a Spotify playlist, a BuyMusicClub list to buy those tracks on Bandcamp, and a section for curators to write whatever they want!
A Bla(c)k lives matter resource list is also located up top.
This volume is curated by Caitlin Medcalf.
Caitlin Medcalfis an Eora-based DJ and producer whose experience in the scene ranges from throwing high BPM parties to hosting a weekly show on FBi Radio to running an entire music blog near single-handedly.
Over the years her sound has transitioned from glittery pop-centric PC music influences down into the depths of crunchy, dirty underground rave.
If you're down Naarm way, grab tickets to catch Caitlin alongside Lazywax May 8th at the Gasometer Hotel for In House Radio x Musica Del Gaso. If you'll be elsewhere, jump over to her soundcloudfor a taste of what you would get.
Music Caitlin Medcalf Likes...
Music for the type of warehouse where if anything other than the soles of your shoes touches the floor/walls/doors they'll be stained a weird and sweaty black forever (why is the misc. liquid on the floor of the rave always so powerful???). Breaksy and brutal. Caitlin says... All just hard and fast sounds I can't wait to blast out over club speakers to a sweaty room.
Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the traditional and rightful custodians of the land of which I live and am writing this piece on - the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation. Sovereignty was never ceded. At the time of writing this, there have been four Indigenous deaths in police custody in the last three weeks alone. If you can afford to, please consider donating to the Aboriginal Legal Service: https://www.alsnswact.org.au/
I want to use this space to acknowledge some of the current struggles of Chile’s Mapuche people, whom I am connected to on my maternal side. The Mapuche make up around 84% of Chile’s Indigenous communities, and 12% of Chile’s total population. Chile is the only country in Latin America to not recognise its Indigenous Peoples in the constitution.
For context, my mother and her family moved to Australia in 1970, when my mother was two years old. It’s the classic migrant tale, where they left comfortability in pursuit of a better life for their kids. They left Chile very soon before the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
My Abuela, Abuelo and their three kids relocated to Western Sydney. My Nana has lived in the same house for over 40 years.
Guajardo family at Chilean Airport, leaving to go to Australia
I’ve been visiting my Nana weekly for around 2 years now. Prior to these visits, I’d probably only ever see her and my Abuelo a few times a year. Reflecting on this, I realise now the complex and ambiguous relationship I had (and largely, still do) to half of my identity, but since putting the effort in to connect with my Nana, I’ve learned a lot more about home, the history and the language too.
It was only recently that our family realised our connection to the Mapuche people. My cousin did a deep dive into our ancestry through DNA testing and research, and concluded that my Nana has a pretty large percentage of Mapuche heritage. She rejects this connection as she feels it conflicts with her religion.
I know that doesn’t make me a very large percentage Mapuche, but the connection to Chile’s First Peoples still exists to me and has honestly made my view on my identity even more complex, which can feel kind of exhausting at times.
I’ve been slowly trying to read up on their history and to try and understand their context. I see a lot of parallels between their struggles and the struggles of the First People’s here in so-called Australia.
Following some of the most important protests in Chile’s history in 2019, the country’s conservative government announced due to public pressure, they would be rewriting the constitution for the first time since the Pinochet regime.
Idk where I found this pic, but I saved it from Twitter around the time of the protests
Chile’s Indigenous people are now pushing for constitutional recognition in a variety of ways.
In conversation with the BBC, Victorian City Councillor Marcelo Vega Melinao - who is the first Mapuche to be elected to that particular council - said "The government needs to start listening to us and return our land. It's like an open wound that won't go away.”
Victoria is located in the Araucanía region, where a majority of Chile’s two million Indigenous People live.
Their land was handed to wealthy families during Pinochet’s reign between 1976 and 1990. In the 1990’s once Pinochet fell and the country returned to democracy as its way of governing, the government vowed to hand some of that land back. But red tape and a reluctance from owners to sell has stalled this process immensely, causing just resentment from the Mapuche people towards the government.
Mapuche leaders are also calling for cultural and traditional recognition in the constitution.
Minerva Castañeda, a maternal Mapuche community leader, said "I want more representation for us in the government and money to be ring-fenced to finance our healthcare and education.”
She cites that government regulations are more often getting in the way of cultural traditions. For example, in birthing rituals, where new mothers bury the placenta after their baby's birth. She recalls not being allowed to have the kind of traditional birth that she wanted due to these regulations.
This ongoing struggle for constitutional recognition is just one of the things that still plagues the Mapuche People of Chile, and whilst 27.4 per cent of the Indigenous population in Chile are “living in a situation of multidimensional poverty”, there is still not enough being done to support or recognise them. And while I don’t know much about my direct connection to them, the least that I can do is educate myself on what struggles they face today. I hope that you learned something new!