Situating Music and Solidarity Within the Yoeme Water Struggle


  • Stephanie Jimenez University of Pittsburgh



The role of music as a tool for promoting political and community solidarity is determined, at least in part, by the stakes. For Indigenous communities facing state repression, cultural survival goes hand in hand with physical survival. How might attitudes toward the role of music have an effect on the Yoemem’s water struggle? Acueducto Independencia is a 155 kilometer long aqueduct which began transporting 75 million cubic meters of water per year from the Rio Yaqui to the city of Hermosillo in 2013. The aqueduct breaks a 1937 treaty guaranteeing the Indigenous Yoeme (Yaqui) 50% of the Rio Yaqui’s water. The fact that many Yoemem do not have access to sufficient amounts of non-pesticide laced water for drinking, agriculture, or other everyday needs affects health and way of life and is tantamount to an ongoing structural genocide. Many perceive this ongoing threat to their livelihood as a form of low-intensity warfare considering the violent history between the Yoeme, Mexican government and state officials (Personal communication, April 7, 2021). The Yoemem have called upon others to support their fight for basic human rights, cultural and political sovereignty, and environmental justice. This call-to-action has resulted in music becoming a space for promoting Indigenous solidarity–in part. Indeed, the use of music has arguably become widespread recently in environmental justice movements around the globe. This article will explore how music is posed as a form of Indigenous solidarity within the context of the environmental justice movement.


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How to Cite

Jimenez, S. (2022). Situating Music and Solidarity Within the Yoeme Water Struggle. Pittsburgh Undergraduate Review, 2(1).