Accepted Paper:

Tracing identity resistance practices through artistic discourses in the southwestern region in Colombia  


Valeria Guerrero (Universidad Nacional de Colombia)

Paper short abstract:

This paper discusses the way some artists from southwestern Colombia have created discourses through literary and musical sources that reconfigurate an identity that has been stigmatized and essentialized by the rest of Colombian society.

Paper long abstract:

This study emerges from a personal inquiry about the stigmatization of the Pasto-Nariño region in southwestern Colombia. A myth has been "invented" and perpetuated by a continuous isolation and by the pejorative essentialization of the "regional identity", which has not only found answers and resistance in how the local memory is constructed but also in the way that artists narrate and sing it. As an identification discourse distinguishing events and characterizations is built at national level, locals have selectively created "more dignifying" memories from which recognize themselves, not only through historical writing, but also in their own artistic creations.

The proposed method will evidence that the invention of an identity myth is traceable in the long term (longue durée) and immerses in the structures of culture. Fictions are valuable ethnographic artifacts, not only because they display the way in which the artist perceives reality but because they evidence the artist role as creator of it trough their subjective practices. Thus, a continuous dialogue between history and myth will support the way in which the society constructs memory. Based on this assumption, the analysis of some fictional novels and songs, can speak about the social context, perceptions of reality, feelings and idealizations. Finally, such artistic creations have played a major role in the reconstruction of an alternative regional identity.

Panel P144
Back to the future: discursive practices on identity, remembrance and resistance in late-modern anthropology