Drs. Carlos Del Cairo and Jefferson Jaramillo, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia

About our Guests: Carlos Del Cairo is an anthropologist, assistant professor and director of the anthropology program at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. He is coauthor of Perspectivas antropológicas sobre la Amazonia contemporánea (2010), and author of several peer-reviewed journal articles. Jefferson Jaramillo is a sociologist and an associate professor of sociology at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. He is coauthor of Salsa y Cultura Popular en Bogotá (2013), and author of various peer-reviewed journal articles. 

Interviewer: Ana Fonseca  

Overview: Professors Carlos Del Cairo and Jefferson Jaramillo talk about their article entitled, "Los dilemas de la museificación. Reflexiones en torno a dos iniciativas estatales de construcción de memoria colectiva en Colombia" ("The Dilemmas of Museification. Reflections on Two State Initiatives for Building Collective Memory in Colombia"), published in 2013 in the academic journal Memoria y Sociedad of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. Specifically, we will be focusing on the first part of their article which talks about the 2001 proposal to exhibit a towel that belonged to Manuel Marulanda Vélez (who was the leader of the guerilla FARC back in 2001 and was better known as "Tirofijo") at the National Museum of Colombia, in order to get into the main theme of our talk today about the challenges that exist while telling difficult and traumatic memories especially in socio-political contexts of ongoing conflict such as the one in Colombia.

What are the challenges of building memory in the middle of the conflict in Colombia? What kinds of disputes about memory emerge in a context where the armed conflict still persists? Drs. Carlos Del Cairo and Jefferson Jaramillo address these key questions during this talk.

Keywords/Themes: Collective memory, social memory, official memory, dynamics of inclusion and exclusion, institutions, state, non-state initiatives, commemorative practices, museums, Colombia, Colombian conflict, transitional justice.

This is a translated version of our audio interview originally conducted in Spanish, "Construyendo memoria en medio del conflicto," with Drs. Carlos Del cairo and Jefferson Jaramillo.

"memory is also a space of dispute and tensions."

Jefferson Jaramillo 

"all the disputes about memory ... ultimately have an impact on the present more than on the past."

Carlos Del Cairo
Download PDF transcription - Building Memory in the Middle of Conflict
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Further information on some points and names mentioned during the interview:

  • Álvaro Uribe Vélez: President of Colombia for the period of 2002-2012, under his government the FARC were severely weakened militarily.
  • FARC: Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). Colombian guerrilla group.
  • Peace talks in Colombia: The current peace talks are being undertaken in Havana, Cuba, not in Colombia as the 2001 Colombian peace talks did.


Transcription: Del Cairo, Carlos and Jefferson Jaramillo. "Building Memory in the Middle of Conflict." Interview by Ana Fonseca. Radio Heteroglossia, translated transcription, September 2016 [February 2014]

* This interview was originally published in an extended version by Radio Heteroglossia on February 2014. The original interview has been shortened for this publication to fit our new, condensed format launched on September 2016.



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June 2024