In local Argentine soccer matches one can find anywhere between two hundred to fifty thousand people chanting together, accompanied by large ensembles of percussion and brass instruments. Research on this mode of musical production has focused on the genealogy of the melodies and the discursive analysis of chant lyrics with or without an ethnographic component. However, they have left unexplored how these chants, as sign-vehicles, become meaningful beyond text and beyond genealogy.
Thanks in part to a CLAS Small Grant Fund, I had the opportunity to do field work research with fans of several teams, exploring the specific potentials that participatory moving and sounding-in-synchrony brings into this collective experience. I argue that public mass participatory singing allows fans to actively partake in a performative social space that establishes a non-hegemonic shared system of meaning. This system, under a logic locally known as aguante (endurance), frames locally rooted interpretations of heteronormative, patriarchal, homophobic, and sometimes violent values and actions in a positive manner, in ways that might not be voiced by single individuals.