• Writing by Heart. Victims of the Colombian Armed Conflict Write their Testimonies

      Oglesby, Elizabeth; Bungard, Claudia; Bacelar da Silva, Antonio J.; Vásquez-León, Marcela (The University of Arizona., 2018)
      The half-century Colombian armed conflict has left an enormous human impact. Statistics say that between 1956 and 2016 about seven million people have been victims of crimes perpetrated by guerrilla groups, paramilitaries, and the national army. For decades, most of the victims have maintained a complete silence about their tragedies. However, in recent years, with the guidance of journalists and social workers, some victims have started to write their own memories of the war. Between 2006 and 2010, as a way to collect testimonies and to give a “voice to the voiceless,” the local government of the city of Medellin, Colombia, supported a series of writing workshops in which victims wrote their own tragedies. In part, this thesis seeks to explore this new way to produce testimonies in Colombia and to show the impact of this grassroots memory project on participants. It also refers to its potential effects and legacy, in order to make recommendations for future such projects in times of transitional justice in Colombia.