We Spoke to Mariel Mariel About Calling Out Her Abuser and the Campus Activism It Sparked

Lead Photo: Photo by Flying High Photography
Photo by Flying High Photography
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When Chilean hip-hop artist Mariel Mariel stepped on stage at her country’s most prestigious music awards show, the Pulsars, to collect her award for Best Urban Music Artist for work on her third album Foto Pa Ti, she acknowledged the decade-long journey she’s taken with her band up to that point.

But — echoing many other high profile denouncements recently — she also called out a man who, seven years ago, had effectively put her university music education on indefinite pause. He was her flute professor at the University of Chile. The hip-hop artist told the audience at the Pulsars that she felt like she had to leave the country after he destroyed her sense of security.

She is far from the only woman in music to recently come forward about rampant intimidation, inappropriate harassment, and unwanted propositions from men in the industry. The cases of Life & Death PR’s Heathcliff Berru, the Twitter thread started by music writer Jessica Hopper about experiences of gender-based marginalization and an indie rock community-wide epidemic in Argentina, to call up just a few examples, have left many feeling like the industry has widespread, underlying gender-based violence issues it has yet to deal with.

Like many before her, Mariel’s accusations seem to have inspired others to speak out. After she published a more detailed account of the abuse with Chilean newspaper The Clinic and publicly acknowledged the teacher who perpetrated the crime, another flautist came forward about negative experiences with the same professor on Mariel’s Facebook page. Mariel told Remezcla that she has also received reports of another professor in the same department behaving inappropriately towards students.

Now, she feels that the onus is on University of Chile to make things right. “Personally, I’ve been reflecting a lot these last days about the total responsibility that the administration had in regards to what happened to me as a student when I made the denouncement,” she told Remezcla.

Happily, the singer also said that her confession seems to be stirring campus activism by students who are sick of being taken advantage of by educators.