Profs. María Camila Ospina Alvarado, Fundación CINDE - Universidad de Manizales & David Arturo Ospina Ramírez, Universidad Católica de Manizales, Colombia

About our Guests: María Camila Ospina Alvarado is a psychologist and a Ph.D. candidate in Social Sciences at the Free University of Brussels and the Taos Institute in the United States,and in Social Sciences, Childhood and Youth at the Universidad de Manizales and the Centro Internacional de Educación y Desarrollo Humano - CINDE – (International Center for Education and Human Development) in Colombia. She is currently a professor, researcher and research director at the Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Niñez y Juventud (Center for Advanced Studies in Childhood and Youth) of the alliance between the CINDE Foundation and the Universidad de Manizales. She is also the national research coordinator at CINDE and co-coordinator of the research group, "Juventudes e Infancias: prácticas políticas y culturales, memorias y desigualdades en el escenario contemporáneo" ("Youth and Childhood: Contemporary Political and Cultural Practices, Memories and Inequalities") of the Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales - CLACSO - (Latin American Council of Social Sciences).

David Arturo Ospina Ramírez is an industrial designer and Magister in Education and Human Development, and in Project Management. He is currently a professor of specializations in education at the Universidad Católica de Manizales. He is also a researcher and designer of teaching materials at the Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Niñez y Juventud (Center for Advanced Studies in Childhood and Youth) of the CINDE Foundation and the Universidad de Manizales in Colombia, and project leader at the foundation, Fundación Elefantes de Colores.

Interviewer: Ana Fonseca

Description: Professors María Camila Ospina Alvarado and David Arturo Ospina Ramírez discuss their article, "Futuros posibles, el potencial creativo de niñas y niños para la con Update Post Update the published post on the site strucción de paz" ("Possible futures, the creative potential of children for peacebuilding"), published in 2017 in the academic journal, Revista Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, Niñez y Juventud, which examines the role of girls and boys directly affected by the Colombian armed conflict as agents of change and peacebuilding, and analyzes how the use of their different human potentials, with an emphasis on their creative potential, interact and lead to the denaturalization of violence and the construction of another social reality of peace possible in Colombia.

Why is it important to recognize the role of children as active agents of peacebuilding in Colombia? How do narrative, affectivity and creativity interact to create peaceful scenarios since childhood in Colombia? How is society built through everyday actions? Professors María Camila Ospina Alvarado and David Arturo Ospina Ramírez address these and other key questions. 

Keywords/themes: Peace, peacebuilding, Colombian armed conflict, creativity, human potentials, narrative, social construction, dialogue, language, childhood, denaturalization of violence, the quotidian, quotidian practices and peace, Colombia.

This is a translated version of our audio interview originally conducted in Spanish, "Construcción de paz y el potencial creativo de la niñez en Colombia," with professors María Camila Ospina Alvarado and David Arturo Ospina Ramírez.

"Often times we want children to speak the language of adults. Creativity makes us think about the language of children themselves, and we see it as an opportunity for building peace that allows us to connect future possibilities with present actions without ignoring the memories and the endured past; it is rather an alternative that encourages the creative resignification of that lived past." 

María Camila Ospina

"We continually used the metaphor of using other "appreciative lenses" in our research ... It consists of not only inquiring about the harsh experiences that these children and their families had gone through, but also recognizing that they had also been transformative agents in their communities, and that they were continuously contributing to the process of peacebuilding in the country from their own capabilities."

David Arturo Ospina
Download PDF transcription - Peacebuilding and the creative potential of children in Colombia (transl.)
File Size: 330 kb
Download File

Further information on some points and names mentioned during the interview:

  • ELN: Ejército de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Army). Colombian guerrilla group.
  • Denaturalization of violence: A process of challenging cultural notions that consider violence as an inherent and thus unchangeable condition to human nature. Instead, it attempts to show how violence is a social construct and therefore situations of violence can be transformed and replaced by more peaceful scenarios.


Transcription: Ospina Alvarado, María Camila and David Arturo Ospina Ramírez."Peacebuilding and the creative potential of children in Colombia." Interview by Ana Fonseca. Radio Heteroglossia, translated transcription, August 2017



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September 2023