stories

Gilda - the miraculous

Miriam Bianchi, who was born October 11th., 1961, in Ceibas, Entre Ríos Province, seemed to be devoted to children, as she was mother of two and a kindergarten teacher as well. Her angelic face and her sweet voice contrasted with that kind of music which, until that moment, was only male heritage. Gilda dare to create on stage different characters, the same as the game she loved the most when she was a child: to get dress up. She captivated the musical scene with her short skirts and leather knee-high boots, but also knew to perform herself with her long blue cloths cape and a flowers crown, daring to be a maiden, inspired in the movie «Brave Heart». Through her music she invited the audience to get into her magical worlds, where she proposed other ways of feeling the popular music and creating a strong connection with the people. She knew the meaning of being authentic. Maybe from that long-time experience of working with children combined with the strong energy of tropical music, an almost mystical popularity arised , leading her to be acclaimed by crowds all across Latin America. So strong the impact she caused on the people was, that during a show in Jujuy Gilda saw a little girl crying next to the stage. When the concert was over the child’s grandmother told her why the girl was crying: «Her mother is in an intensive care unit at the hospital and the girl puts your music on as a way to heal her.» After a while, the woman got recovered. Then, in the middle of another concert a woman shouted Gilda to cure her diabetes. Gilda stayed in silence, her musicians became impatient asking her to sing, Gilda looked at the woman and said: «I don’t make miracles, but if the power of my music can help, music is welcome». Sometime before dying in a tragic accident on Route 12, after a concert, when 3 musicians, her mother and her daughter where travelling with her, she said the message that today is one of the pillars of the people who follow her art after her death: «Every person has a mission in life». On the shoulder of the route was found a cassette with Gilda’s voice singing a cappella «It’s not my farewell», as if as a premonition she could have put a name to her departure. That was the big revelation that today transformed the singer into a religion. Her posthumous record was quickly launched and became a success. After a while the promises, devotion and miracles were multiplied building the image of Gilda as a saint. Today there are thousands of faithful followers that transformed the place where the accident happened into a sanctuary and remember her with her image and music, and at the same time they share with other devotees how they were cured of illnesses, or recovered fertility, or how they were blessed with the lottery during financial crisis. Her fans relate her music and image with a mystical and powerful magic. The truth is that today is natural to listen to her music everywhere: at a football stadium, in a wedding or in a school. Maybe she is where always she wanted to be: between Heaven and Earth.

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The shrine to Gilda is located at km 129 of National Route 12, on the way to Chajari, in Entre Rios. The shrine was built on the site of the accident. Her followers leave messages, photos and objects to thank her for granting their wishes.

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Singer Silvia Coimbra (the Empress) returns home after a gig on the anniversary of the singer’s death. Silvia is seen as Gilda’s double, both because of their physical resemblance and because she is one of the people tasked with preserving the singer’s memory.

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The mystique surrounding Gilda has made her a favourite saint among people of all ages from various corners of the country. Her magic brings together women praying for fertility, old people in search of a cure for their ailments, and people hoping to find work.

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Members of Gilda’s fan club often visit the cemetery where Gilda is buried, and have transformed it into a social place where they meet to share the feeling that unites them.

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12 year old Gilda places flowers on the shrine’s water. Her parents named her after the singer because they have been fans since the start of her musical career.

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As it does with other pagan saints born out of popular devotion, in the shadows of Catholicism, the church has tried to get involved and is considering the possibility of Christian beatification.... (+)

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Silvia Coimbra is a composer and singer, she lives with her husband, their 2 children and a growing number of dogs and cats. She picks them up off the street, looks after them, gives them love, a home and food.... (+)

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Gaston is the president of Buenos Aires- based fan Club «No me Arrepiento de este Amor», and one of the most influential of Gilda’s followers. He is responsible for organizing most of the events to commemorate the singer.... (+)

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Juan Pablo travelled with his parents from the province of Buenos Aires to visit his idol at the Chacarita cemetery. As part of his promise to Gilda he dressed in the outfit she wore for her last album, Corazón Valiente.

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Silvia Coimbra visits the grave where the singer and her daughter, young Mariel, are buried.

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Dora works as a porter in a building. She held onto her belief in Gilda when doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer, and she started to visit the grave and pray for her recovery. Today doctors claim that only a miracle could have cured her. She says it was Gilda.... (+)

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Shrine to Gilda in Entre Rios.

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Dora at the Chacarita cemetery.

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A young follower looks at the shrine.

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The bus in which Gilda was travelling when she crashed became the place where prayers, promises and wishes to be granted rest. The shrine.

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In the imagery of Gilda, horses represent freedom, dreams, fantasy, the universe where wishes do come true.

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