Accepted Paper:

What does the Curator Cure? Territory as Victim of Armed Conflict at Colombia's National Museum of Memory  
Sofia Gonzalez-Ayala

Paper short abstract:

This paper elaborates on what curatorship may convey as a form of 'cure' in post-conflict Colombia, focusing on a space dedicated to indigenous people's notion of 'territory as victim' in the first exhibition of the National Museum of Memory's narrative to take place in 2018.

Paper long abstract:

On April 2018, in Bogotá, Colombia, the annual Book Fair will house the first exhibition of the narrative for the exhibitions at National Museum of Memory. Law 1448 of 2011 decreed the creation of both this museum and the National Centre of Historical Memory, which is in charge of its design, creation and administration. The Museum of Memory, whose aim is 'to strengthen collective memory regarding the facts that have taken place in the recent history of violence in Colombia,' has not yet been physically built. It has however already hired a team composed of around forty people of which I am a member.

In order to elaborate on what curatorship may convey as a form of 'cure,' in this paper I will describe the backstage preparations of one of the study cases that the exhibition will display. It presents the notion of 'territory as victim' from the views of Kankuamo, Kogui, Arhuaco, Wiwa and Barí indigenous groups. Common to the different parties involved is the hope that disseminating these views will help heal the harm that fifty years of internal armed conflict and older forms of violence have done to indigenous groups' cultural and physical survival.

I will reflect on how hierarchies and structural relations of power may shape and limit Law 1448, our work teams and indigenous people's intentions vis-a-vis the possibilities offered in staging objects produced by indigenous people and their voices in a major exhibit which thousands of daily visitors are expected to experience.

Panel P064
Redefining the curator, curatorial practice, and curated spaces in anthropology