Memory, Victims, and Representation of the Colombian Conflict

This project brings together an interdisciplinary team of experts working in the fields of Modern Languages, Media Arts, Computer Sciences and Human Rights Law, as well as practitioners, to address the issue of the representation of conflict and victims in Colombia’s 60-year long conflict.

The project team focuses on how these topics are represented in museums and official exhibitions and also interrogates the voices that are not yet heard or represented in these official, in particular those of women victims.

Activities So Far

The initial stages of the project have included workshops and the development of projects with research students at the UPTC in Colombia, focussing on women in the Boyacá region of Colombia.

Extensive interviews and detailed analysis of Colombia’s main museum, the National Museum, have also been undertaken, as has archival research at the National Centre for Historical Memory.

The project has also worked closely with several organisations, including the OFP [Popular Women’s Organization] to create hand-made posters, telling the voices of women

Ongoing Work

The project will continue to work closely with women’s organisations, and organisations that focus on victims of the conflict, including the Ruta Pacífica de las Mujeres, Zoscua, and the OFP.

A next major step is a series of co-creation workshops with the co-investigator María Mencía from Kingston University, in order to develop a new, interactive artwork which will tell the story of these women and offer new perspectives on the conflict, empowering these women to take ownership of their narrative.

María Mencía’s digital artwork, ‘Birds Singing Other Birds’ Songs’ (detail)

The Challenges

Claire Taylor, lead on the project, said “we’re aiming in our project to engage with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, in particular goal 16, to ‘Promote peaceful and inclusive societies’, and goal 5, ‘Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’.

The focus of our project on historical memory as an integral part of the process of conflict resolution, coupled with its sustained attempt to recover the voices of women victims of this conflict, provides an Arts- and Humanities-informed strategy of contributing to these two goals”

Project Partners

The project brings together a range of academic institutions, including researchers from the University of Liverpool, the University of Kingston, the Technological and Pedagogical University of Colombia, Santiago de Cali University (Colombia), and the Technical University of Cartagena.

Many non-academic partners are also involved in the events and activities, including:

Photo Essay

In March, this project ran events with the Organización Femenina Popular [Popular Women’s Organization] in Barrancabermeja, Colombia. The events culminated in a two-day workshop, creating hand-made posters and images. The women of the OFP selected 20 iconic objects that represented their organization, and produced 20 large hand-made images of them that will then be displayed in their new museum, the House of Memory and Human Rights of Women, which will be inaugurated in July 2019.

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