Interview with Chenoa
Among the audience who came to the Experimental Chamber of Zorrilla's Theatre in Valladolid in order to attend the conference on Spanish in the media organized by the Castilian and Leonese Institute of Language we found an unexpected spectator who suddenly appeared: Chenoa. The FLE was invited to the event, had the chance to chat with the singer and see how she handles the gift of speech.
Beatriz Hernández Bilbao.
Alba P. Villarragut
At the conference we have attended we have examined how the media uses Spanish language, how could we use it Chenoa?
Honestly I have to admit that sometimes, I have expressed myself in a language sometimes I am not very proud of sometimes ... But I have a formation in humanities, which is what I studied providing me a good base, besides, I have a family who always has talked a lot and when we have disagreed as I have above mentioned; As a matter of fact, in a not too sharp way in order not to not have something banned as morbid but on the contrary, to make it a lesson.
The participants in the symposium (M ª Antonia churches, Alfredo Urdaci and Juan Manuel de Prada) reported that Spanish is perhaps nowadays best preserved today on its spoken form in Latin America. When you travel there because of your work have you have perceived it that way?
Yes and unfortunately, it is true that when my mother sees me in Latino interviews she says I am more careful with the usage of language and when I come to Spain I am closer to becoming vulgar dealing with the way I speak.
Why this double behaviour?
Perhaps it may be because the constant criticism I have always got and I have always been accused of being arrogant but it may be confused with the wish to speak properly with looking forward to be more important than the rest. When a woman speaks in a cultivated way she looks dangerous, she expresses her opinion and it seems people is not used to it. I do not know what the problem is, but that's how I see it.
The truth is you always have been criticized for not mincing words...
I ndeed, I've been heavily criticized and maybe in an unfair way, but I overcome criticism, I will not say stop, on the contrary, it even gives me more courage. It is not that I am criticized, but I rebel because I think that's not fair at all. I also think either the musical side or as a woman I have every right to express my opinions and even more. And I have to add, that not just because someone's been injected with silicone it does not mean she's not going to read a book, though there are a lot of people who think that way. Everyday spend their money as they please. I am betting for tolerance and for being fair and give up hypocrisy.
If there is something which describes you is your uncompromising defence of women...
When you see a president in a recording studio who is a woman then you tell me, when you see a woman as the president of government, then you also tell me, and when you see you TV and radio stations owners who are presidents, what they see on television and radio owners who are women it would be the same. Until that happens I will continue speaking freely.
Have you ever thought it would be better biting your tongue?
Unfortunately many times I've told to shut up, that it would be much better, although it is also true that I've been addressed with affection by those who really love me since they do not want to see me at the stake for being a waving feminist flag as if I was an idiot. I was wrong once and I said to Julia Otero, "That is because feminists tend to cross the line" and she replied: "Make no mistake, many things you have and enjoy today, you have them because feminists have succeeded in their struggle" and she was absolutely r ight and I was wrong.
Retaking the topic of the conference have you missed any important aspect to deal with?
The Communication has been good in many ways but ... They talked about censorship, but censorship is also stress, is not called the same but it works the same way. I also missed a point dealing with individual responsibility for I love reading I do I worry about buying books. If I don't know, I don't speak, and if know I answer. It is being self-taught, to be curious. I think there's a wee bit of responsibility. And I think there are a certain percentage of people, although not a large one who are young and who fights and prepare themselves.
To put an end to this interview would like you to tell us what you are reading at the moment...
I'm reading Henry VIII and his six women by Francis Hackett, he beheaded all of them since he believe they are to blame for everything. And I'm also reading Empress Sissi against her will by Brigitte Hamann. I have also read The history of the women ... I move a little on those topics on which I'm really interested in. I like them to be historical works to see how the topic of feminism comes from afar and also to be aware of what they have done and why women have fought and what they have achieved.
Translated by Miguel San José