Civic Imagination

Arlen Siu

Arlen Siu Bermúdez (15 July 1955 – 1 August 1975) was a Chinese Nicaraguan who became one of the first female martyrs of the Sandinista revolution. Siu was 18 when she joined the Sandinistas. She had already attained a level of national celebrity as a talented songwriter, singer, and guitarist by the time she joined the movement. She was killed August 1, 1975 during an ambush near El Sauce, Leon, Nicaragua, by soldiers from the Dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle's National Guard. She was twenty years old.

She is considered by many in Nicaragua to be one of the earliest martyrs of the revolutionary movement. Her artistic works and critical essays on Marxism and feminism served as an inspiration to both the Sandinista movement and the Nicaraguan Women's movement. Her picture was often displayed at FSLN celebrations throughout Nicaragua. Managua and El Rama have neighborhoods named after her, and a park in León is also named after her.

My family was very close to Arlen’s family and I am friends with most of her nieces so her story is very close to my heart. I think I choose her because I love symbols of popular and feminist resistance. Her example has sparked many other references in popular culture and social change. 

This page has tags:

This page references: