WATCH: Juanes Revisits the Collective Trauma of the 2021 Colombian Protests in ‘Mayo’ Music Video

Lead Photo: Courtesy Universal Music Latino.
Courtesy Universal Music Latino.
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Juanes revisits one of the darkest times in Colombia’s recent history in his new music video. The Colombian icon shows the trauma that occurred during the 2021 protests in the country through his “Mayo” video,” which was released today (June 28).

In his latest album Vida Cotidiana, Juanes sang about personal and political issues that spoke to his experience as a Colombian artist. He also explored strains in his marriage while in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic in the heavy “Gris.” Fortunately, Juanes and his wife worked through those issues. He then spotlighted the forced disappearances happening in Colombia in “Canción Desaparecida” with Afro-Colombian rapper Mabiland.

Now Juanes remembers the protests in Colombia in May 2021 with his song “Mayo.” Police were captured on video killing protesters standing up against a proposed tax hike and the county’s poor response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Juanes channeled a classic rock group for his reflective anthem. 

“This song came to me because I was so frustrated as I was watching turmoil unfold on social media in real-time during the May 2021 protests in Colombia,” Juanes said in a statement. “People threatening to burn policemen. Police firing at young protesters on the streets. It was a surreal moment of chaos in my country, and I began writing on the horror and heartbreak I was witnessing. But instead of an aggressive feel, I’ve always been a very big fan of ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ era Pink Floyd, and began thinking of how they utilized music to evoke surrealism and chaos. […] It’s saying what we really need to do is change.”

In the “Mayo” music video, Juanes plays an EMT worker who is tending to a woman giving birth as the protest rages on. “I recalled another true story of the protests that really shocked me, when an ambulance transporting a pregnant woman was surrounded and blocked by protesters,” he added. “As a result, the baby sadly died before they could reach the hospital, and this happened twice during the May protests.” The cinematic video reveals a moment of hope at the end with the baby’s arrival. 

Check out the music video for “Mayo” below.