Necrolandscapes: the political life of mutilated and banished corpses in the rivers of Colombia

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Different narratives in Colombia show how the apparition of mutilated and
unidentified corpses in rivers – as an outcome of decades of war and violence – has
reorganised national geography, as well as the affective relationships with space and
death. Based on literary sources and testimonies, this article analyses how the presence
of human remains has affected the ways of life in territories marked by necropolitics,
transforming the perception of the threshold between life and death, and the conditions
of existence of those involved. First, the article explores how the inhabitants of places
located on the banks of the Magdalena and Cauca rivers have elaborated their
interactions with the remains that appear on the rivers, and how these interactions
produce frictions with expert knowledge and practices such as forensic practices.
Secondly, the article describes how through different material and aesthetic mediations
these banished corpses have been inscribed in the texture of everyday life. These
material and aesthetic mediations include the choosing of animas of “NN” corpses
(unidentified) in Puerto Berrıo or the construction of a Park-Monument in Trujillo to
keep the remains of corpses that have been identified there.
Translated title of the contributionNecropaisajes: la vida política de los cuerpos mutilados y desaparecidos en los ríos de Colombia
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number29:4
Pages (from-to)555-580
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Latin American Cultural Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021

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