Political and performative geographies of territorial peace in Colombia

  • Courtheyn, Christopher Eugene (PI)

Project: Research Project

Project Details


As a contribution to international and national peace and development studies, this project examines various experiences of territorial peace in Colombia. From an ethnographic and performative methodology, in which the researcher is situated as a 'co-performer' or committed participant, it analyses how the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, the Awasqa youth collective of Medellín and the Puente Nayero Afro-Colombian Humanitarian Space in Buenaventura resist the control of armed actors, forced displacement, food insecurity and environmental degradation. The concepts of peace and development imagined and practiced in these community initiatives are explored. In general, peace is associated with a utopian condition in everyday life as well as in politics and academia. However, these case studies allow us to observe that peace must be conceptualized as a process resulting from the construction of civil society through daily practices that cultivate dignified living conditions and ecological sustainability. The study explores how territory is reconstructed in the midst of violence through a) the formation of civilian peace zones in rural and urban areas, b) community commemorations of war victims as forms of collective and public memory, and c) the solidarity networks that peasants, Afro-descendants and youth consolidate with allies within the country and in other countries, as an alternative geopolitics 'from below' that seeks alternatives to the racism and ecological crisis facing humanity. This proposal justifies the use of the start-up fund to contribute to the realization of fieldwork with these organizations, the socialization of the results in international conferences, and finally, the publication of articles and a book manuscript in both English and Spanish.


1) The expansion of the researcher's qualitative and ethnographic database on territorial peace experiences in Colombia.2) The sending of the book manuscript to Duke University Press to start the peer review process.3) The translation of the book manuscript into Spanish for publication in Spanish.4) Publication of an article presenting the results of the research (preliminarily titled, "De-indigenized but not defeated") in an international indexed journal (Ethnic & Racial Studies), in addition to its subsequent translation and republication in an academic journal in Colombia (an identified option is the Colombian Journal of Anthropology). Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
Effective start/end date4/1/192/7/20

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Main Funding Source

  • Competitive Funds
  • Starter Funds


  • Bogotá D.C.


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