Scholars have shown how memory is an embodied and spatial practice that potentially generates more just possible futures, and that peace is a politicized and contextually specific process, but how does place-based memory performance actually contribute to social movements’ construction of peace? This article explores massacre commemoration pilgrimages and stones painted with victims’ names in the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, a group of small-scale farmers living in the war-torn region of Urabá, Colombia. Based on 15 months of ethnographic research in Colombia from 2011 to 2014, including participant observation and 49 interviews, I explore the relationship between these spatially embodied practices and the community’s resistance to forced displacement and peace-building project. I argue that these forms of memorialization cultivate key elements for an autonomist ‘other politics’, including solidarity with allies; mobilizing bodies across space to defend life and land; and ongoing reflection, education and strategic planning that strengthen community cohesion and organization. Integrating scholarship on memory performance, peace geographies, and social movements, I illustrate how the San José de Apartadó Peace Community’s massacre commemorations and stones reject vindictive violence and instead build an alternative, transformative and emancipatory politics through internal and external solidarity.
|Translated title of the contribution||‘Memory is the strength of our resistance’: an ‘other politics’ through embodied and material commemoration in the San José Peace Community, Colombia|
|Number of pages||26|
|Journal||Social and Cultural Geography|
|State||Published - Oct 2 2016|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Cultural Studies