UK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Bringing Memories in from the Margins: Inclusive Transitional Justice and Creative Memory Processes for Reconciliation in Colombia
Project Data Last Updated: 27/08/2020
IATI Identifier: GB-GOV-13-FUND--Newton-AH_R013659_1
Over more than five decades of armed conflict in Colombia, the memories of marginalised communities and victims of conflict have been silenced or excluded from dominant accounts. These memories, and creation of spaces to acknowledge them, will be crucial to an inclusive reconciliation. This project adopts a participatory, co-production methodology to support community members in Bajo Cauca, Florencia, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, and Valledupar - some of Colombia's most marginalised municipalities - to produce creative pieces of memory work. Creating memory work means using the pain of the past to create something useful for working towards peace in the present and future. Working with a set of highly respected national partners (including the National Library of Colombia, the National Centre for Historical Memory, the Peaceful Route for Women, and the National Network of Memory Sites) the project will enable victims to develop the skills, networks, and confidence to share their memories on a national stage, including with Colombia's truth commission. Acknowledgement of victims' experiences by the truth commission is fundamental to reconciliation in Colombia, but it will not and cannot be the only space where reconciliation takes place. Victims' memories also need to be heard and acknowledged in everyday spaces of learning about conflict and peace, including in schools and online. In partnership with the National Centre for Historical Memory, the project will train over 200 teachers to use memory work for peace education and it will produce a set of resources for use in classrooms. In partnership with the project, the National Library of Colombia will design and host a digital resource that will effectively share the creative memory work of these marginalised communities with a wide audience nationally and internationally. We bring together an interdisciplinary team of researchers and practitioners who share a commitment to understanding and enabling the possibilities for a more inclusive process of reconciliation in Colombia. The team of researchers from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and the University of Bristol works across the disciplines of history, education, area studies, politics, media studies, and feminism and has expertise in co-production and participatory methodologies, the use of digital technology to enhance research findings, as well of leading research projects in Colombia and Latin America focused on memory, reconciliation and education. The partnerships at the core of the project are based on existing and well-established relationships with leading organisations in Colombia working to promote memory and reconciliation at local, regional and national levels. The project works in three strands, first memories from the margins will support between 1,000 - 10,000 people from some of the most marginalised parts of Colombia to create transformative memory works, enabling individual and community processes of reconciliation and developing lasting skills for public participation. Physical objects created by the project will remain in the local municipalities. The second, reconciliation, shares this memory work on a national scale, including with Colombia's truth commission and in the nation's schools. The final strand, lessons from Colombia's transitional justice consolidates the work in Colombia, producing lasting digital resources, and shares findings, methodologies and lessons in Colombia, the UK and internationally. The project will contribute to a sustainable, inclusive reconciliation in Colombia. In doing so, it will also generate important knowledge about the potential for localised processes of reconciliation to be connected with formal initiatives like truth commissions and shared in schools using co-production and digital methodologies. These lessons will be valuable for global policy discussions around transitional justice and for academic debates across our disciplines.Objectives
The overall objective of this project is to contribute to a sustainable, inclusive reconciliation process in Colombia by analysing, supporting and creating space for the voices and memory projects of marginalised groups within national transitional justice initiatives and within wider everyday processes of transition and social change as reflected through formal and non-formal learning spaces. To achieve this, we have the following aims: 1) Memories from the margins: To support victims and communities in eleven of the most marginalised municipalities of Colombia, whose voices have been excluded from mainstream narratives, to a) creatively develop a piece of memory work that reflects their experiences and hopes for the future; b) to develop skills and capacities to widely share this work on their own terms. 2) Reconciliation: To create spaces and opportunities for the memories of marginalised and victim communities to be heard and acknowledged formally by Colombia's Truth Commission (TC) and more widely, including in schools and community spaces. 3) Lessons from Colombia's transitional justice: To share and reflect on project methodologies and findings in order to contribute to national and international debates around reconciliation, memory, transitional justice, education and peace. To achieve these aims, the project has three overarching research questions: 1. Memories from the margins: What memories have been marginalized through and beyond the conflict in Colombia? What obstacles have marginalized municipalities encountered as they seek to relate their experiences of conflict and promote reconciliation and how can these be countered using participatory methodologies? 2. Reconciliation: How have victims' memories been acknowledged within formal (the TC) and informal processes (educational and digital spaces) of reconciliation in Colombia? What lessons have been learned at the national level from creative and participatory processes of connecting victims' memories with reconciliation processes? 3. Lessons from Colombia's transitional justice: Does Colombia show that effective engagement with victims' memories of conflict can shape a successful transitional justice processes elsewhere? To answer these questions, we adopt a co-production methodology, working in partnership with a strong and established network of national level partners who already work in marginalised municipalities across Colombia. These partners include the Colombian National Library, the National Centre for Historical Memory, the Ruta Pacifica national women's organisation, and the National Network of Memory Sites, all of whom are well recognised and respected for their human rights and reconciliation work. These partners will work with victims of Colombia's more than five decade long armed conflict to answer these questions using innovative methodologies in memory and education, ensuring that victims' memories and experiences form part of Colombia's post conflict reconciliation. The project has been designed to work across Colombia with some of its most marginalised constituencies, including indigenous groups in Bolivar department, areas particularly affected by the conflict such as Caqueta and Cesar, and groups most affected by gendered violence, such as women in Antioquia. Participatory methods can only be adopted by an interdisciplinary academic team with a track record of impactful research in Latin America and Colombia. Our team includes a historian (Brown), a media and communications specialist (Lopez), a political scientist (Pinto), and an educationalist (Paulson), who have previously collaborated across the UK and Colombia on research that has made a contribution to the peace process in Colombia.
|Extending:||UK Research & Innovation|
|Funding:||UK - Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy|
|Implementing:||University of Bristol|
Sectors groups as a percentage of country budgets according to the Development Assistance Committee's classifications.
A comparison across six financial years of forecast spend and the total amount of money spent on the project to date.