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Accepted Paper:

Visual memorialization as an alternative representation of war and peace in Colombia  

Author:

Patrick Naef (University of Geneva)

Paper short abstract:

The main objective of ths paper is to look at the way some memorial projects, such as the realization of murals depicting Medellin's context of violence, can serve as sources of resistance.

Paper long abstract:

In 2016, Colombia announced the end of a decades-long internal conflict. Yet despite this progress the country lingers on in a state of "quasi-post-conflict" or "post-agreements". This paper, drawing on case studies in Medellin's "barrios populares", traumatized by guerillas, para-militarism and gang violence, suggests that some "subterranean memorial practices" that have recently emerged are forms of resistance. In a context of competing representations and discourses on the armed conflict, memorial entrepreneurs in these marginal urban areas, using creative means such as the visual remembrance of violence, resist the loss of their territories, challenge hegemonic narratives on the war and propose alternative visions of violence prevention. The main objective is to look at the way some memorial projects, such as the realization of murals depicting Medellin's context of violence, can serve as sources of resistance. Several case-studies taking place in the comuna 13 and the barrio Pablo Escobar will demonstrate the role these visuals play in the city memorialscape, through their diffusion of diverse and sometimes antagonistic representations of the war and the ensuing peace in Colombia.

Panel P106
Provoking Visuals: Creative Engagements with Borders, Wars, and Conflicts [PACSA Network]