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Nunca invisibles: insurgent memory and self-representation by female ex-combatants in Colombia

Elston, C. (2020) Nunca invisibles: insurgent memory and self-representation by female ex-combatants in Colombia. Wasafiri, 35 (4). pp. 70-78. ISSN 1747-1508

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/02690055.2020.1800254


As part of attempts to end more than half century of armed conflict, transitional justice and memory initiatives have proliferated in Colombia, providing recognition and redress to victims of violence. Yet, alongside the focus on victims, former insurgents in Colombia have also called for the inclusion of their own narratives of the conflict in public memory initiatives. Responding to recent memory studies scholarship, which has begun to reorient the field away from a narrow focus on past trauma, this article analyses the construction of ‘insurgent memory’ in Colombia through the 2018 documentary Nunca Invisibles: Mujeres Farianas, Adiós a la guerra. Emerging from a grassroots memory project led by women from the FARC, I explore how the film challenges the predominant framing of ex-combatant women as victims in transitional justice and DDR scholarship. Situating this in a longer history of memory projects by female combatants, the article analyses how such projects, whilst articulating a discourse of peace and reconciliation, vindicate a narrative of female revolutionary activism and a political identity that is often erased in post-conflict “reintegration” processes. In doing so, I demonstrate the importance of creative, grassroots processes in enabling ex-combatants to represent themselves and move beyond the limitations of official memory and transitional justice frameworks.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > Languages and Cultures > Spanish and Hispanic Studies
ID Code:92591
Publisher:Taylor & Francis


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