Exhibition Space for Me

Una bienvenida muy especial a todos los participantes del taller Un Museo Para Mí     #museoparamí  British Library  13 noviembre 2021 

Voces Invisibles/Invisible Voices
Mujeres Víctimas del Conflicto Colombiano / Women Victims of the Colombian Conflict


This creative, practice-based research is part of the bigger research investigation Memory, Victims, and Representation of the Colombian Conflict funded by the AHRC.  It brings together an interdisciplinary team of experts working in the fields of Modern Languages, Media Arts, Computer Sciences and Human Rights Law, to address the issue of the representation of the conflict and victims in Colombia’s 60-year long conflict. Above all, it focuses on exploring and incentivising new means of awareness with regards to the self-representation of women victims of the Colombian conflict through different art practices

Este proyecto creativo de investigación, basado en la práctica, forma parte de la investigación más amplia de Memoria, Víctimas y Representación del Conflicto Colombiano, financiada por el AHRC. Reúne a expertos de varios campos, incluyendo Lenguas Modernas, Artes Mediáticas, Ciencias Informáticas y Derecho de los Derechos Humanos, para abordar el tema de la representación del conflicto colombiano de los últimos 60 años y de las víctimas. Sobre todo, el proyecto se centra en la representación de las mujeres víctimas del conflicto colombiano a través de diferentes prácticas artísticas.

Research team: Grupo de Investigación   Dra. María Mencía, Co-Investigator and artistic director, Kingston University, London, UK; Prof. Claire Taylor, Principal Investigator, University of Liverpool, UK. Dra. Ailsa Peate, Research Associate, University of Liverpool , UK; Patricia Barrera,  Local Impact Co-Ordinator, University of Liverpool, UK; Dr. Rafael Asorey-Cacheda, Co-Investigator, Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Spain. Dra. Claudia Liliana Zúñiga-Cañón, Co-Investigator, Universidad Santiago de Cali, Colombia; Dra. Celina de Jesús Trimiño Velásquez, Co-Investigator, Universidad, Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia, (UPTC), Tunja, Colombia.

Participants: Participantes   Women Community groups/ Mujeres La Ruta Pacífica y Zoscua; Julio Barrera, Independent professional photographer and audiovisual production; Asesora UPTC:  Wilma Blanco Ruíz, Magister UPTC, Tunja; Asesora UPTC: Yasmith Camargo Gómez, Magister UPTC, Tunja; William Condiza Plazas, estudiante Doctorado en Ciencias de la Educación, Tunja UPTC; Rocío Ropero Ortíz, estudiante Maestría en Derechos Humanos-Chiquinquirá, UPTC; Paula Rodríguez Ávila, estudiante Maestría en Derechos Humanos-Tunja, UPTC; Katherine Coronado Vitolo, estudiante Maestría en Derechos Humanos-Tunja, UPTC; Mayerly Acosta Rodríguez, estudiante Maestría en Derechos Humanos-Tunja, UPTC

Fundación Guagua - Juntos con la Juventud

These unique exhibitions comprise two collections from Fundación Guagua,  NGO counterpart on the @MVRColombia research project of the University of Liverpool. Compilations of very recent testimony gathered from schools and campuses, they illustrate how Colombian educators are responding creatively to the dual challenge of processing memory with students terrorised by human rights violations in their communities; and at the same time, working to secure recognition of the testimonies of teachers and students, singled out in the conflict for threats and attacks. The subject matter is distressing, and yet the work is inspirational, insofar as it is illustrative of a profound commitment within civil society to equip young people, inside and outside the classroom,  to acknowledge the past while looking to the future, and to assuage, if never erase, the scars carried by pupils and teachers alike. 

Pizarras y pupitres por la Vida - Fundación Guagua

Please wait a little while the exhibition loads up / Espere un poquito mientras se prepara la exposición

Es una exposición que relata los hechos victimizantes de los que han sido víctimas, los y las estudiantes y docentes en Colombia. Los hechos que se relatan son principalmente amenazas, desplazamientos forzados, ejecuciones extrajudiciales y desapariciones forzadas. ©Fundación Guagua

Lee más sobre la exposición aquí      Copia de presentación exposicion pizarras y pupitres por la vida.pdf

Círculos de la Memoria Galería de la Memoria Tiberio Fernández Mafla - Fundacion Guagua -

Material pedagógico que fue creado por los alumnos escolares – la ruleta se utiliza como un mecanismo pedagógico para  para poder narrar las distintas masacres explicar que se han sucedido en el país.

Lee más sobre la metodología  y la exposición aquí    Los circulosdelamemoria.pdf   ©Fundación Guagua

The Sowing of Life: Cuerpos Gramaticales (Barcelona)

A film by Ingrid Guyon

Filmmaker and photographer Ingrid Guyón introduces A Museum for Me to her collaborations with Colombian cultural collective Agroarte, and their work together on Cuerpos Gramaticales, which Guyon has captured in this inspirational and thought-provoking film The Sowing of Life. Ingrid Guyon writes:

On October 21st 2017, ICIP, the International Catalan Institute for Peace, organized the performance of Cuerpos Gramaticales (Grammatical Bodies), an act of collective catharsis in the Estació del Nord park in Barcelona, in collaboration with the group Agroarte.

Cuerpos Gramaticales was born in Medellín Commune 13 (Colombia) from Agroarte collective with the aim of generating practices of memories that contribute to the reconstruction of the social fabric following the phenomenon of enforced disappearance in the Commune, especially as a result of the Orion operation, that left more than 300 people disappeared. Agroarte is a process of peaceful resistance to oblivion and denunciation that uses sowing and art as tools to heal bodies and territories in defense of life, generating methodologies that build a community empowerment from dialogue as a way to build peace.

ICIP, with the support of the Barcelona City Hall, transferred this action to the city of Barcelona within the framework of the project ‘Strategies of Memory, Truth and Reconciliation of Colombian Women Abroad’, which focuses on peacebuilding and memory through artistic expressions. The performative action of Cuerpos Gramaticales in Barcelona supposes the conjunction between the struggles within the Colombian territory and the initiatives and demands of the women of the Colombian Diaspora. By joining other women’s bodies and voices, they build and generate collective processes of empowerment and healing.

Cuerpos Gramaticales is a process of collective care in which the participants prepare their bodies and souls through dance, theatre, literature and embroidery workshops that allowed the building of trust between them before the sowing action. Planting themselves allows them to go over their own memory and heal it, listening to internal dialogues in silence, listening to others and recognizing each other from common spaces, from the power of doing together.

The final action was nourished by the diversity of women: some planted themselves to heal the deep marks that the Colombian conflict had left in their bodies and in the social fabric; others did it for their own sorrows; others, in solidarity with the struggles and resistance of women, the disappeared people and the victims. All of them planted themselves to build peace and reconciliation.

Watch Ingrid Guyon's 'The Sowing of Life' : Cuerpos Gramaticales (Barcelona)

with the kind permission of International Catalan Institute for Peace (ICIP), Agroarte Colombia, and Ingrid Guyón

See more of Ingrid Guyón’s work in the UK with Diaspora Woman in the Performance Space.

Follow Ingrid Guyón’s work at www.ingridguyon.com | www.fotosynthesiscommunity.org | www.insightshare.org

Carlos Beristain
Comision de La Verdad

Arqueologías Vivas del Exilio​: La Historia a través de los Objetos

Colombian Truth Commissioner Carlos Beristain reaches out to the community and invites popular participation in this innovative proposal, gathering testimony through personal reflections on the objects, signs and symbols around us. Arqueologías Vivas del Exilio is much more than artistic display; it is an active, participatory, public research on the part of the Commission, aimed at expanding opportunities for ordinary people to recount their stories, by broadening notions of testimony, memory, and media of expression.

Arqueologías Vivas del Exilio

Conflict Textiles

Arpilleras - Testimony and Memory stitched forever into fabric

An encounter with the Colombian Collection at Conflict Textiles​

These moving and inspiring textiles or arpilleras come from the Colombian collection of Conflict Textiles, curated by Roberta Bacic and assisted by Breege Doherty. They visually narrate and document contemporary and historical memory of human rights abuses of the armed conflict in Colombia, including forced disappearances, but also the everyday stories of peace-building and community.

Arpillera: Cimarrón / Runaway slave, (2010) Maker: Mujeres tejiendo sueños y sabores de paz Country: Colombia © Conflict Textiles Collection
Arpillera: Desplazamiento / Displacement, (2010) Maker: Mujeres tejiendo sueños y sabores de paz Country: Colombia © Conflict Textiles Collection
Arpillera:  NO MAS / No more, (2013) Maker: Mujeres tejiendo sueños y sabores de paz, Mampuján Country: Colombia © Conflict Textiles Collection
Arpillera: Retorno/Return, (2013) Maker: Mujeres tejiendo sueños y sabores de paz, Mampuján Country: Colombia © Conflict Textiles Collection
Arpillera: La larga espera de las mujeres de luto / Long wait of the mourning women , (2016) Maker: Group Artesanías Choibá and Ursula Holzapfel, Life, Justice and Peace Committee, Quibdó diocese Country: Colombia © Group Artesanías Choibá and Ursula Holzapfel, Life, Justice and Peace Committee, Quibdó diocese
Arpillera Nuestras Víctimas 2 de mayo 2002 / Our victims of 2nd May 2002; Bellavista – Bojayá – Chocó, (2016) Maker: Group Artesanías Choibá and Ursula Holzapfel, Life, Justice and Peace Committee, Quibdó diocese Country: Colombia © Conflict Textiles collection. Entrusted by Artesanías / Crafts Choiba Group and Ursula Holzapfel, Life, Justice and Peace Committee, Quibdó diocese, Colombia

Following the footsteps of the disappeared

Especially created to mark International Day of the Victims of Forced Disappearances 2020, Conflict Textiles reveal the power of Arpilleras to draw out testimony  and truth

Want to see more arpilleras?

Come with us on a virtual tour of the latest Conflict Textiles exhibition Embracing Human Rights: Conflict Textiles’ Journey Online Exhibition featuring arpilleras from around the world, by kind permission of Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre, Limavady, Northern Ireland and Conflict Textiles

Want to draw your own arpillera? Colour your own arpillera

You can! Click here for downloadable materials and fun activities to inspire all ages. With the kind permission of Esther Alleyne of Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre, Limavady, Northern Ireland, Breege Doherty and Roberta Bacic of Conflict Textiles

A doll for Me …communicating memory through arpillera dolls
Meet some of the arpillera dolls of the Conflict Textiles Collection

Arpillera Doll by Andrea Carolina Bello, Tocancipá, Colombia

This doll was inspired by the arpillera Retorno / Return, by Mujeres tejiendo sueños y sabores de paz, Mampuján

Andrea says: This doll connects to Retorno / Return, a textile related to the Mampujan community’s internal forced displacement. In Colombia, many communities and inhabitants have had to leave their land due to violence; violence that has shaken every corner of the country.
The doll has purple skin signifying, that in Colombia, no matter the region or ethnic group, violence has affected every territory, obliging their inhabitants to abandon them. She is dressed in black as she is mourning for the land; the land they have worked, are rooted in and that has been taken away.

Arpillera Doll by Breege Doherty, Ireland

This doll was inspired by the arpillera 2016 Starvation in Zimbabwe by Lakheli Nyanthi

Breege says: this doll was inspired by 2016 Starvation in Zimbabwe. The fact that I researched and wrote captions for two Zimbabwean arpilleras recently prompted me to pick this piece. Reading an Aljazeera report on the impact of the Coronavirus in Zimbabwe also stuck with me. I wanted to give this woman some bright clothing – a contrast to the brown, drought scorched earth. I have given her a mask to signify that her community is now coping with Coronavirus in addition to recurring food insecurity

Arpillera Doll by Juan Nicolas Cardona, Colombia

This doll was inspired by the arpillera  Legacy of Tyrants / El legado de los tiranos, by Lisa Raye Garlock, USA

This rag doll embodies the character “La Llorona”, one of the most famous oral legends of Latin American folklore. It concerns a wailing woman who emerges to remind the oppressor that death is not the end; that where he sits at ease, she will always be willing to torment him in his nightmares.

This dead wailing woman connects to the Legacy of Tyrants/ El legado de los tiranos, through her anger and love of freedom. To think that tyrants have the last word is futile; they cannot triumph so easily.

Want to see more arpillera dolls?​

Click here to visit the Conflict Textiles arpillera doll exhibition.

Want to make your own doll or arpillera?

Follow Rosa Borras from Mexico in her 10 step guide to making your own very own arpillera doll and  textile. With kind permission of Conflict Textiles and Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre.

© Conflict Textiles

Alert / Aviso

#SOSJuanaAliciaRuiz #SOSLeynerPalacios #NoMásLíderesAsesinados

Conflict Textiles have recently (June 2020) put out the following alert:  Two community leaders with close ties to the groups whose beautiful arpilleras are exhibited here, have received death threats in recent weeks:

Juana Alicia Ruíz Hernández, Mampuján (Bolívar)                                                Leyner Palacios Asprilla, Bojayá (Chocó)

Academics from around the world have sent an open letter to the Colombian government, and encourage others to do the same. You can see the full text of the letter here:  (English)


Para leer el comunicado completo y firmar  por favor seguir el siguiente link  (Español) https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oCEnUGDrKbYvEHhR6KcSvLPNND20MLEG0k8kuCEoDtc/edit?usp=drivesdk


Juana Alicia Ruíz Hernández Photo © El Tiempo
Leyner Palacios Asprilla Photo © Global Center for Pluralism

Erika Diettes

Erika Diettes (Colombia, 1978) es Artista Visual y Comunicadora Social. Su trabajo se sirve de todas las herramientas de las que dispone – artísticas, investigativas, antropológicas – dando como resultado una condensación de imagen, mensaje y proceso: un “trípode” que es el soporte conceptual y formal de todas sus obras. Erika Diettes ha expuesto en significativos espacios como el Museo de Bellas Artes de Houston, el Centro Cultural Recoleta (Buenos Aires), el ExTeresa Arte Actual (Ciudad de México), El Museo Nacional de Colombia, y en distintas instituciones en Estados Unidos y Europa. En 2019, Diettes vino a Liverpool gracias al Consejo de Artes de Inglaterra y el Municipio de Liverpool para montar su inspiradora exposición Sudarios en La Catedral de Liverpool, y conectar con exiliados, migrantes, artistas, y activistas por derechos humanos. 

Erika Diettes inauguró la galería virtual de Un Museo para Mí en mayo 2020, para brindar apoyar a este proyecto y al trabajo de La Comisión de la Verdad, la Convivencia y la No Repetición.

Erika’s work is dedicated to each one of the families who, with great courage and generosity, have shared testimony of their most painful and treasured memories, through these works of art.

Sudarios (shrouds)

A Museum for Me invites you to encounter this unique exhibition, where truth inhabits spectacular form and surroundings. Staged at the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool in 2019 as part of its international tour, Sudarios invades the mind and soul, transferring personal testimony to collective consciousness. Diettes’ work is incontrovertible evidence of the crucial role that culture has to play in truth-telling and recognition.

See more of the Sudarios exhibition

Relicarios (reliquaries)

Walk with Diettes through Relicarios, a three-dimensional work, that at once conveys both the intimate, intricate, and delicate detail of personal grief, love and memory, and the unfathomable scale of loss in Colombia.  Relicarios is recognition writ large in tiny detail on the national and international stage. Watch and listen as Erika Diettes takes us to her exhibition Relicarios

Río Abajo (Drifting Away)

Faced with the forced disappearance of persons inside a complex political conflict, Diettes constructs a poetic image in which clothing appears floating on the water, transporting us to the corpses that are thrown into the river to be vanished. The piece becomes a type of contemplation on the role of rivers in Colombia as a geographical space that evokes death, and furthermore, contributes to the mourning process of the victims as these images symbolically rescue the presence of a body they have not been able to find.

Follow Erika Diettes at www.erikadiettes.com
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