Program: Colombia the Presence of the Impossible

Statement of purpose 

 

January 14, 7:00 pm
Room 240 Franklin Center
"Memory, conflict, and disregard:  The ruin of history"

This session will be focus on the role of the media and alternative writings of the Colombian recent history through (memory)

with guest speakers Fabio Lopez de la Roche and Oscar Pedraza.

 

 

“Mass Media, democracy and political culture in Colombia during Uribe’s era: realities, fictions, challenges”

The presentation points out some of the problems of the Colombian communication system emphasizing the communicative policy of Uribe’s government and its relationships with private and public mass media. The problems of governmental propaganda, the realities and fictions of Uribe’s policy of “Democratic Security” in the presidential discourse, but also in the discourse of mass media, as well as possible ways to encourage and consolidate practices of Citizenship with regard to mass media and journalism, will be some of the topics analyzed and discussed by Professor Lopez de la Roche. Some short television-news stories will illustrate some of the hypothesis developed by the speaker.
 

 

 

 

"Hijos e Hijas: Todos somos Colombia"

Synopsis: Hijos e Hijas is a social organization where sons and daughters of despaired and murdered victims find a place to share and participate actively in actions towards reconciliation and justice. Their objective is to use memory as a tool to rein-scribe personal and collective stories into the main stream of the official Colombian history. Through performance, concerts, poetry, meetings, and supervision on the legal cases of their parents Hijos e Hijas accomplishes their mission. Additionally, they maintain a comfort zone for those children that had suffered persecution and the disappearance of their parents. For them an open and public discussion and the recognition of the conflict in all its dimensions are fundamental in reaching a stage in which memory, justice, and reparation can be achieve. 

Films

- “El Baile Rojo: El exterminio de la UP

" / The Red Dance: the annihilation of the UP by Yezid Campos (Colombia, 2004). 57min

Synopsis: It is the first film that explores the annihilation of the Union Patriótica, a leftist's political party that emerged as part of the peace process in mid 1980s (it was the political arm of the FARC in their intent to return to civil life). The title comes from the name of the operation that eradicated three thousand members of the party from 1987 to 1991. The film presents dozens of interviews with survivors of the killings and some of the former leaders in exile. Only ten out of thousands of cases have been solved by the justice system.

&

- “Hijos e Hijas: Todos somos Colombia” by the NGO Hijos e Hijas. 10min


Sponsored by the Duke Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Duke Human Rights Center

Franklin Center. 2204 Erwin Road. Durham. 27708

Parking behind Flanklin Center at Dickens Family Health Center (Free after 6pm) 

Food will be served! 

 

 

 

Colombia the Presence of the Impossible

Films and Discussion Sessions. Fall 2008

 

Organized by:

Diana Gómez-Correal & Miguel Rojas-Sotelo

Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Duke University.

 

Franklin Center (media room – 240) 7pm.

2204 Erwin Road -free parking after 6pm

(919) 681 3883 & 681 2548

 The discussions will be in English and Spanish (with translations when necessary)

 

August 27. Initial Remarks: The “Extra-ordinary” Violence in Colombia

After 50 years of sustained conflict, in 2008 massive mobilizations of the civil society (around ten million participated) had asked for, an end to kidnapping as a political (and economic) tool used for the FARC and ELN, and the end of the so-called official repression (some called state-terrorism) of alternative thinkers, union, and grassroots leaders. This initial session intents to show, in a visual form, the complexity of the Colombian conflict, a short journey through the history of violence (political, subversive, and paramilitary) in Modern Colombia; and it will intent to set an agenda for the discussions.

 

Optional Film (a view from the upper-middle class)

- “Tomas de Guerra” (War Takes). By Patricia Castaño & Adelaida Trujillo, (UK, Colombia, 2003)

Synopsis: Colombian filmmakers Patricia Castaño and Adelaida Trujillo keep a video diary recorded over a period of four years. Starting with the election of Andres Pastrana and the beginning of peace negotiations (1998-2002), the film follows the women's lives up until the failure of the peace process and the election of Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010). Castaño's husband is a conservative lawyer who receives threatening phone calls and her children have fled South America for England. Trujillo's husband is forced to leave Colombia after his colleagues are kidnapped and her children react to the war with fits and bad dreams. It was shown at the 2003 Human Rights Watch Festival.

Spanish with English subtitles. 78min. (in the CLACS collection)

 

September 3. Voices of Victimhood: On kidnapping a plea for action

The session will be focused on the situation of humanitarian exchange and peace negotiations among the government, the FARC, and the ELN. This session will also discuss possible solutions to the armed conflict and the participation of the Civil Society (massive demonstrations in recent months) in the process.

Screening and discussion of the documentary film:

- “Relatos entre cadenas” (In-chain Testimonies). By Mady Samper (Colombia. 2007)

Synopsis: The initial objective of the film was to prepare the environment for the peace negotiations between the ELN (Ejercito de Liberación Nacional) and the Colombian government in late 2007, in Havana, Cuba.). Through a series of interviews performed before the last humanitarian exchange process (September and October 2007) the film shows the economic and psychological burdens suffered by families and former victims of kidnapping in Colombia. The documentary was commissioned by the office of the UN Peace Commissioner and País Libre Foundation (an advocacy group that works with families and victims of kidnapping). In it, the victims and families call for an open and real negotiation to end kidnapping as political and economic tool by the illegal groups and make a call for a sustainable, concrete, and truthful participation of the government to finish the phenomenon. They call for an ending of the arrogance showed by the parts and for a system that supports and maintains a fluid communication between the parts and the civil society, in particular between families and victims. 

Spanish (30min).

 

September 15. The systematic violation of Human Rights

The session will be focused on the situation of peace negotiations between the government and the Paramilitary (Ley de Justicia y Paz). This session will also discuss the ideological and political rhetoric sustaining the systematic violation of human rights by part of factions of the security forces and the participation of the Civil Society.

 

Screening and discussion of the documentary film:

- “Silencing Justice.” By Julian Roberts, Trevor Martin, and Justin Saint Cyr (Colombia/USA, 2007).

Synopsis: It explores the situation facing human rights defenders in Colombia. By conducting over 30 interviews with human rights defenders, legislators and other members of Colombian political and civil society, the film highlights the dangers facing human rights defenders, as well as the violent and bipolar nature of Colombian politics and history.  The film also discusses the Law on Justice and Peace, a controversial 2005 law that outlined the demobilization of right wing paramilitary groups but has received harsh criticism for allowing impunity to continue in Colombia.

Spanish and English (with subtitles). 68 min.

 

October 8. The role of the Civil Society in conflict resolution

What is the role of the civil society in the resolution of the conflict?

Who is affected by the internal conflict?

What is a “Peace Community”?

Why do they exist?

How a peace community functions and what are they relationships with the agents in conflict?

 

Optional film.

* “Comunidades de Paz” (Peace Communities). By Massimiliano Carboni (Italy. 2005).

Synopsis: The documentary is a collective portrait (and in extension a landscape-film) of members of the so-called “comunidades de paz” (Peace Communities) in Colombia. These communities live in some of the most dangerous places in the country (el Magdalena Medio, La Mojana, Atrato River, Uraba, and Ciudad Bolivar). They have decided not to take position (in favor to any of the arm-agents) and for instance defy the now 50 year internal conflict. The journey takes Carboni into their daily lives and to ask about their existence and how do they survive. In order to answer such question he puts together a panel of experts that interact through the film with the interviews of the members and communities themselves.

Spanish & Italian / no English. (60min.)

 

**IT WILL BE RECONVENE FOR JANUARY 14th, 2009 (same time and place) November 19.

Memory, Conflict, and Disregard: The ruin of history

This session will be focus on the role of alternative writings of the Colombian history through (memory) and a concrete experience: Hijos e Hijas por la memoria y contra la impunidad, as expression of the civil society

Special guest, Oscar Pedraza from “Hijos e Hijas”

 

Films

- “El Baile Rojo: El exterminio de la UP” by Yezid Campos (Colombia, 2004)

Synopsis: It is the first film that explores the extermination of the Union Patriótica, a leftist’s political party that emerged as part of the peace process in mid 1980s (it was the political arm of the FARC in their intent to return to civil life). The title comes from the name of the operation that eradicated three thousand members of the party from 1987 to 1991. The film presents dozens of interviews with survivors of the killings and some of the former leaders living in exile (or who returned to the guerrillas). Only ten out of thousands of cases have been solved by the justice system. The party disappeared legally in 2002 when it could not reach the number of votes needed in the parliamentary elections of that year.

 &

- “Hijos e Hijas: Todos somos Colombia” by the NGO Hijos e Hijas

Synopsis: “Hijos e Hijas por la memoria y contra la impunidad” is a social organization where sons and daughters of despaired and murdered victims of the internal conflict find a place to share and participate actively in actions towards reconciliation and justice. Their objective is to use memory as a tool to rein-scribe personal stories into the main stream of the official history. Through performance, concerts, poetry, meetings, and supervision on the legal cases of their parents, Hijos e Hijas accomplish their mission. Additionally, they maintain a comfort zone for those children that had suffered persecution and the disappearance of their parents. For them an open and public discussion and the recognition of the conflict in all its dimensions are fundamental in reaching a stage in which memory, justice, and reparation can be achieve.

Spanish (60 and 15min)

*As part of the 22nd Latin American Film Festival

 

*** New date TBA / December 3. Feminism, Women, and Violence in Colombia

The final session will be held by Diana Gomez who works on the reconstruction of the feminist and women movement in Colombia and its participation in peace-negotiation and the conflict - at the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century. This session will present some of Gomez’ MA research findings on the historiography of the “second waive” feminists in Colombia (the first took place during the 1920s and 30s).

 

Optional Film.

- “Maria Cano” by Camila Loboguerrero (Colombia, 1990)

Synopsis: When Maria Cano was recruited into the labor movement in Colombia in 1925, she was prepared for the revolution to come. She worked strenuously to organize workers, and became something of a folk hero. What she was not prepared for, after her five years of imprisonment (beginning 1928), was that the whole movement would lose steam, and that she would have to live the rest of her life with her lost dreams of what might have been. These feelings are very strongly represented in her poetry. This biographical movie shows her life during those years, and considers her bitterness in later Spanish with English subtitles. (104 Min.)

 

Organized by: Diana Gomez-Correal  & Miguel Rojas-Sotelo

Bios

Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

 Contact info:

(919) 681 25 48 / 681 3883

Mobil phone: (919) 358 0787

 

Fabio Lopez de la Roche. BA and Master of Arts in Universal History from the Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, Russia (1984). Master in Political Science, Universidad Externado de Colombia (1993). PhD candidate at the Hispanic Languages and Literatures, University of Pittsburg (2008). Currently is Associate Professor at the Instituto de Estudos Políticos y Relaciones Iinternacionales, IEPRI (on leave). Founding member of the MA in Cultural Studies , National University, Colombia and had served as Director of the Instituto de Estudios en Comunicación y Cultura, IECO (2003-2003).

Lopez de la Roche has written several articles on Twenty Century Colombian politcasl and cultural history. Since 1994 he has been working in communication and medias studies, integrating interdisciplinaty perspectives, from polical science, communication, and journalism to analyze the cultural and political influence of the mass media. 

Oscar Humberto Pedraza Vargas. Historiador y antropologo (maestria en antropologia social), Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia. Areas de investigación: movimientos sociales, recursos naturales, movimiento campesino, la izquierda y alternativas sociales. Investigaciones sobre el ELN y los recursos naturales, en especial en el trabajo de tesis para la maestria titulado "Movimientos sociales, hegemonía y petróleo en Casanare" en el cual explora la relación entre la empresa BP y los campesinos en las principales zonas de explotación del petróleo.

 Profesor de la Universidad del Rosario y del Externado de Colombia. Integrante de Hijos e Hijas desde el 2006. Y actualmente estudiante del M.A en Historical Studies en New School for Social Research (NSSR).

 















El Baile Rojo by Yezid Campos (2006)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomas de Guerra by P. Castaño & A. Trujillo (2003)















Relatos entre cadenas (2007)












Silencing Justice.(2008)

Human rights activist Dr. Ivan Cepeda in the Congressional press room. Motivated by the assissination of his father, UP Senator Manuel Cepeda, Iván is currently the Director of the National Movement for Victims of State Crimes, an umbrella organization for more than 200 Colombian human rights organizations.)












E' "profe" Gustavo Moncayo. a school teacher who walk in chains for more than 1,500 km asking for an humanitarian exchange of war-prisoners. 2007

Comunidad de Paz (Peace Community) in the Uraba region in Colombia.