Location
Colombia
Project Type
Small grant projects
Our Projects

Graphics to decolonise memory: creative pedagogies among the street, the village, and the academia.

The topic investigated by our project is the collective creation of posters as a counter-hegemonic pedagogical tool, to narrate the memory of injustice and the violent past in Colombia, specifically in Bogotá, Urabá, Putumayo, and Caquetá.

Through spaces of encounter such as creative laboratories, exhibitions, and symposiums on posters, we provide the opportunity to engage in a creative dialogue to address memory from a decolonial approach, which places at the heart of the narrative THE RESILIENCE of communities that have historically been oppressed by the armed conflict, marginality, gender violence, amongst others. 

The State, the academia, and international cooperation projects have focused on supporting memory reconstruction projects from Western paradigms that have used a narrative of pain as the strategic axis of history. The written narration with literary figures such as the chronicle or free narration has dominated most of the bibliography about memory of the violent past. This has generated -voluntarily or involuntarily- a dehumanization and re-victimization of the individuals that have suffered the violence.

Our project provides survivors of violence with safe, creative, and supportive spaces, so they can explore different graphic techniques that are relatively easy to reproduce. Once the exploration has progressed, the next step is reaffirmation through the creation and socialisation of posters containing their own reflections on memory.

We see poster design as an innovative, creative, political, poetic, and participatory way of creating individual and collective memory of injustices and the violent past, focusing on the critical capacity, expressiveness and resilient advances of the people and communities who populate urban and rural territories in Colombia.

EdJAM themes that will be addressed by the project: 

  •  Transitional Justice and Memory: the way in which we are going to connect emotionally and psychologically with the memory (remembering, forgetting, and negotiating the past), is done with a non-revictimizing nor linear approach, but in a revitalizing and artistic manner.
  • History Education and Classrooms: in our project, we aim to bring the pedagogy of memory out of the classroom into the streets, by using posters as a counter-hegemonic way of expressing and narrating individual and collective memory.
  • Heritage Education and Everyday Lives: posters become the tool to spark conversations about Colombia’s memory and violent past, both in public spaces and in museums at the Peace and Reconciliation Memory Centre. The graphic narration will speak from an artistic and resilient place, breaking with the hegemonic discourses of memory.

Project Aims:  

  1. Producing and reproducing individual and collective memory of the violent past and present injustices, by using poster design and folk graphics as pedagogical and creative experiences.
  2. Developing a methodological guide for the project’s findings, analysing how posters and folk graphics are creative tools to narrate the memory of violence and to demand justice.
  3. Exhibiting the posters produced using creative narratives of the memory of injustice and the violent past, in a temporary exhibition at the Peace and Reconciliation Memory Centre of Bogotá.

Project Partners:  
Campaña Colombiana Contra Minas (Colombian Campaign Against Landmines).

Main outcomes of the project: 

  • 4 collective poster creation laboratories.
  • 1 symposium on “Experiences on poster design and folk graphics”.
  • 1 semi-permanent exhibition on the theme of “Memory through posters”.
  • 1 systematization video.
  • 1 methodological guide on the collective creation of posters as pedagogical tools to narrate memory.

Beneficiaries of the project: 
Communities participating in the project’s activities in Bogotá, Urabá, Caquetá and Putumayo, conformed by a heterogeneous population of women, men, and dissident individuals between the ages of 16 and 60. We hope to bring together young people, women of all ages, and organised collectives, amongst others.

Disadvantaged groups that will benefit from the project: 

  • Women Victims of the internal armed conflict
  • Women Victims of Gender-Based Violence
  • Young victims of stigmatization
  • Indigenous communities
  • LGBTIQ+ people
  • Rural population who has been a direct and indirect victim of the internal armed conflict

"We see poster design as an innovative, creative, political, poetic, and participatory way of creating individual and collective memory of injustices and the violent past, focusing on the critical capacity, expressiveness and resilient advances of the people and communities who populate urban and rural territories in Colombia."

Results:

In order to meet the objectives we set out, we decided to create a methodology of research and participative-artistic action that would allow the creation of laboratories for the artistic production of posters that contribute to the decolonisation of memory. In Bogotá, we worked in the localities of Suba, Bosa, Puente Aranda and Usme. In the rest of Colombia, we went to Caquetá in Florencia and in the Centro Poblado Hector Ramirez (Montañita); to the rural school Bajo Lorenzo (Puer-to Asis) in Putumayo; to the University of Antioquia in Apartadó and in the village of Pueblo Bello (Turbo) in Urabá; to Magdalena (Buritaca); to La Guajira (Palomino); and to Huila (Neiva). In these creative laboratories, we included easy-to-reproduce and low-cost graphic techniques such as stencils, engraving on isopor, silk-screen printing and printing with movable fonts.

Through the use of these tools, we generated a space for creation and reflection on their own and collective history, which is the pivotal point of these laboratories. In addition to the posters, there was a space for conversation about the different ways of understanding memory, and thinking about its colonial, decolonial, plural or singular character, based on listening to personal, collective and territorial experiences associated with the violent past and present in Colombia.

Learn more below and follow our social channels:

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/palabrerasycallejeras/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@Palabrerasycallejeras 

Meet the Team

Colombia

 Ana María Villa Navas

Co-Investigator

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Colombia

Wendy Vanessa Cuellar Gil

Investigator

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