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Relatos del futuro/ The Future is Unwritten (Colombia)

Changing the Story's Phase 1 Colombia strand incorporated two areas of research. The first, an experimental project that seeks to stimulate creativity among young people dwelling at the borders of precariousness. The second, a comparative study that considers the construction of worlds through social imaginaries and investigates how dominant imaginaries can be a barrier to an alternative future.

Tales of the Future: Senses, Creativity and the Arts of Survival (Colombia)

'Relatos del futuro: sentidos, creatividad y las artes de la supervivencia en Colombia' is a collaborative, experimental and itinerant project that seeks to stimulate creative embryos (or artistic ensembles) among young people inhabiting the borders of precariousness in Colombia.

 

In the middle of the current and complex transitional scenario, which we identify not only as a series of unresolved tensions between fractures and continuities of diverse forms of violence but also as a moment in which a retrospective gesture seems to co-exist with the prospective illusion of a new imagined society, Tales is concerned with creative forms of narrating or articulating the future as a possibility through different languages of collective pain and particular modes of integrating lived experience, whether they are corporeal, visual, sonic or textual among other possibilities. Likewise, we are interested in the textures and creative modulations of daily survival of these youth and their complex contexts, as well as in the economies of solidarity that will grow out of these embryos. This project is sustained on a vision of peace in a small scale in which the restitution of the other’s neighborliness and the transformation of the imaginaries ossified over the years of war and armed conflict takes particular importance.

The project began with a critical review, which synthesised existing practice by arts initiatives addressing peace, conflict and reconciliation. This was based on two types of data; interviews with relevant organisations, and official information from the National Centre for Historical Memory, the Ministry of Culture, and the Office of the Major of Bogota. Overall, more than eighty initiatives were reviewed for the critical review, including those working specifically with young people. In all places that were reviewed, precariousness, joblessness and violence are some of the main features defining the life of the young people. There is deep a scepticism about so-called development projects (in any of its ideological variations), international cooperation, and even social research in general. They are perceived as mining, "extractivist", short-term interventions. This helped guide the parameters and construction of the study and pilot in question.

Relevant debates with young people concerning their experience of violence on their own experience and crucially, that of their communities, were then conducted in seven poverty and conflict –affected areas of the country and acted as sites of data gathering and scoping. These included: Quibdó (Chocó), Buenaventura (Valle del Cauca), Cali-Ginebra (Valle del Cauca), Medellín (Antioquía)

A micro-regional pilot was completed in Ginebra-Paramo de las Hermosas in November 2018, which is now leading to the development of a longer, itinerant project collecting sonic biographies capturing the relationship between young people, the experience of violence, the natural diversity of the environment and the alternative imaginary of the future in three other locations in Colombia.

In addition to work focused at a local-level in the Pacific coastline region of Colombia, the project is also developing transnational cooperative initiatives concerned with youth and recovery from violence between Colombia, Brazil and the UK.

Hear more about the project's concept of 'Peace on a Small Scale' from Co-Investigator Prof. Alejandro Castillejo-Cuéllar:

The Future is Unwritten: Social imaginaries, Skills & Culture in Colombia

Credit: Emily Morrison

The Imaginary

Peoples’ worlds are constructed through collective, social imaginaries (Anderson, 1981; Taylor, 2004). The imaginary articulates how peoples’ worlds are created through shared values and beliefs, often drawn from collective lived experiences. As such, the modern social imaginary can be formed from problematic paradigms affecting the social consciousness, such as violence. These imaginaries can dominate over a society, giving continued life to problematic dynamics from the past and restricting a community’s transition into an alternative future

 Central research questions

  • How do some imaginaries come to dominate?
  • What is the link between culture & the imaginary?
  • What is the relationship between imaginaries & memory?

Comparative Methodology

  • Interviewed social actors involved in culture, violence and policy
  • Explored the broader social imaginary and policy environment inhabiting Colombia.
  • Compared Colombia and Brazil – interviews and observations.
  • Comparative approach – sharing radical methodologies and practice frm both countries.
  • Look to develop new imaginaries and new policies

 Theoretical Lens

Fused ideas of hegemony, cultural field, imaginaries and hybridity to create a theoretical and analytical lens to interrogate interviews:

Results

The results of the project explored the concepts of:

  • Field of power and Field of violence shaping imaginaries, including memory
  • Counterhegemonic Imaginaries emerged, where Culture can be used as a tool to transform social imaginaries and policy, building peace

Hear more about The Future is Unwritten project from Co-Investigator Simon Dancey:

Project Location

Static google map

The River Atrato, Colombia

'Tales of the Future' has been working with young people along the River Atrato as part of their Phase 1 Changing the Story project.

Resource Archive

Search or browse the resource archive for films, reports, toolkits and other resources produced by the Changing the Story and its commissioned projects. Items relating to Colombia are listed below:

TitleSummaryAuthorCategoriesTagsdoc_categories_hfilterdoc_tags_hfilter
Post-Conflict Participatory Arts Socially Engaged DevelopmentThis book investigates the power of art to enhance human development and to initiate positive social change for individuals and societies recovering from conflict. Edited by Changing the Story partners …Diego Alfonso, Dr Aylwyn Walsh, Dr Claudia Pineda Marín, Dr Laura K. Taylor, Dr Scott Burnett, Dr Tendayi Marovah, Edwin Cubillos, Joshua Chikozho, Nub Raj Bhandari, Willard Muntanga, , , , , , , , , , , colombia kenya lebanon nepal uganda zimbabwe locationarticle language-english sdg-11-sustainable-cities sdg-16-institutions sdg-17-partnerships sdg-4-education subject-participatory-arts
Thinking togetherBlog (2019/12/13) Thinking togetherJesús Flores, Mirla Pérez, , , , colombia phase2 venezuela locationblog language-english subject-reflections
Small Scale Peace: Fractures of Everyday Life and Transitional PoliciesJournal article Read Alejandro Castillejo-Cuéllar (Phase 1 Colombia Project 'Tales of the Future) article titled 'Small Scale Peace: Fractures of Everyday Life and Transitional Policies in Colombia published in Revista …Prof Alejandro Castillejo-Cuéllar, , , , colombia phase1 locationarticle language-spanish sdg-11-sustainable-cities sdg-16-institutions
Peace in a Small Scale'Peace in a Small Scale: Colombia and the Social Imagination of the Future' by Alejandro Castillejo-Cuéllar and with the research assistance of Alex Sierra. This paper was presented as part …Prof Alejandro Castillejo-Cuéllar, , , , colombia event phase1 changemakers locationfilm language-english
'Cual es la verdad' Briefing Spanish)Si bien los métodos digitales han existido durante algún tiempo, la pandemia de COVID-19 ha requerido que proyectos en todo el mundo se muevan a la esfera digital y adapten …, , , , , , , , , colombia locationlanguage-spanish sdg-1-poverty sdg-10-inequalities sdg-11-sustainable-cities sdg-4-education sdg-5-gender sdg-8-work sdg-9-industry subject-covid19 subject-reflections
Cuál es la verdad? (What is the Truth?) Final Project VideoCuál es la verdad? (What is the Truth?) De-constructing collective memories and imagining alternative futures with young people in Chocó through music and arts is a Phase 2 Large Grant …, , , , , colombia phase2 locationfilm language-spanish sdg-10-inequalities sdg-16-institutions subject-participatory-arts
La Verdad, created and performed by Cuál es la verdad?La Verdad, created and performed by Cuál es la verdad? (Colombia). Cuál es la verdad? (What is the Truth?) De-constructing collective memories and imagining alternative futures with young people in …, , , , , colombia phase2 locationfilm language-spanish sdg-10-inequalities sdg-16-institutions subject-participatory-arts
Promoting social entrepreneurship through participatory arts and music with marginalised young people in times of pandemic in ColombiaBlog (2021/08/26) Promoting social entrepreneurship through participatory arts and music with marginalised young people in times of pandemic in Colombia, , , colombia phase2 locationblog language-english subject-reflections
Tales of the Future – ColombiaBlog (2018/04/05) Tales of the Future – ColombiaDr Simon Dancey, Emily Morrison, Prof Alejandro Castillejo-Cuéllar, , colombia phase1 locationblog language-english
Edwar CaledronWith English subtitlesDr Edwar Calderón, , colombia phase2 locationfilm language-spanish
Promoting social entrepreneurship through participatory artsThe latest briefing from the ¿Cuál es la verdad? Project reflects on our learning experience of supporting a group of young people to set up a multi-strand social enterprise called …, , , , , , , colombia phase3 locationlanguage-english sdg-1-poverty sdg-11-sustainable-cities sdg-5-gender sdg-8-work sdg-9-industry subject-covid19
The Tree of Love: Resilience, Resistance and Reconciliation Among Former Child Soldiers in ColombiaBlog (2019/11/07) The Tree of Love: Resilience, Resistance and Reconciliation Among Former Child Soldiers in ColombiaDr Mathew Charles, , colombia locationblog language-english subject-reflections
The power of music for connecting young people globallyBlog (2021/07/20) The power of music for connecting young people globallyDr Edwar Calderón, , , , , colombia phase2 changemakers locationblog language-english subject-participatory-arts subject-reflections
Introducción del editor invitado: la paz en pequeña escalaIntroducción del editor invitado: la paz en pequeña escala, Alejandro Castillejo-Cuéllar (2019)Prof Alejandro Castillejo-Cuéllar, , , colombia locationarticle language-spanish sdg-11-sustainable-cities sdg-16-institutions
Etnia Company Performance Universidad de los Andes, ColombiaIn September 2019, the Etnia Company, a group of musicians from Choco, Colombia were invited to participate in a panel discussion and perform at an international conference held at the …, colombia event locationfilm
A Critique of Transitional DiscourseWritten by Alejandro Castillejo-Cuéllar (Phase 1 Colombia Project 'Tales of the Future). The following article is a product of Alejandro's research and raises the need to question "Transitional scenarios," their …Prof Alejandro Castillejo-Cuéllar, , , , colombia phase1 locationarticle language-spanish sdg-11-sustainable-cities sdg-16-institutions
Music, Community and Environment workshop - Mr KlajeRecording of Mr Klaje’s (Colombia) Music, Community and Environment workshop, 29th April, University of Leeds. This workshop promoted collaborative work actions and intercultural scenarios among diverse students/participants, as a strategy …Mr Klaje, , , , colombia event phase2 locationfilm language-english subject-participatory-arts
A Journey That Changed Our StoryA summary of Mr Klaje's visit to the UK, March-May 2022. Including workshops in Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and LeedsMr Klaje, , , , colombia phase2 locationlanguage-spanish sdg-10-inequalities sdg-16-institutions sdg-4-education
Las Voces De Un Río Que Se Niega A MorirBlog (2018/12/21) Las Voces De Un Río Que Se Niega A Morir, , , colombia phase1 locationblog language-spanish subject-reflections
'Cual es la verdad' Briefing (English)While digital methods have been around for some time, the COVID-19 pandemic has required projects around the world to move to the digital sphere and adapt their approaches accordingly. In …, , , , , , , , , colombia locationlanguage-english sdg-1-poverty sdg-10-inequalities sdg-11-sustainable-cities sdg-4-education sdg-5-gender sdg-8-work sdg-9-industry subject-covid19 subject-reflections
PUBLICATION LAUNCH! Changing the Story: Our Third YearBlog (2021/05/21) PUBLICATION LAUNCH! Changing the Story: Our Third YearAisha Kayani, , , , , , , , , , cambodia colombia india kosovo phase2 south-africa changemakers locationblog language-english subject-covid19 subject-participatory-arts youth
Desde las fronteras de la precariedadBlog (2018/12/21) Desde las fronteras de la precariedadProf Alejandro Castillejo-Cuéllar, , , colombia phase1 locationblog language-spanish subject-reflections
Relatos del futuro/ The Future is Unwritten (Colombia)Co-Investigator Simon Dancey Changing the Story’s Phase 1 Colombia strand incorporates two areas of research. The first, an experimental project that seeks to stimulate creativity among young people dwelling at …Dr Simon Dancey, , , colombia phase1 locationfilm subject-participatory-arts subject-reflections
Meet AntoniaMeet Antonia, a Changing the Story Youth Research Board member from Colombia., , , colombia changemakers youth-research-board locationfilm language-spanish
Caja de Herramientas Methodological toolkitCuál es la verdad? (What is the Truth?) De-constructing collective memories and imagining alternative futures with young people in Chocó through music and arts is a Phase 2 Large Grant …, , , , , colombia phase2 locationfilm language-spanish sdg-10-inequalities sdg-16-institutions subject-participatory-arts
For a Different Today and TomorrowBlog (2019) For a Different Today and TomorrowDr Laura K. Taylor, , , colombia phase2 locationblog language-english subject-reflections
Colombia FilmInterviews with visual artists about creation of animations recording stories of former child soldiers in Colombia.Angel David Hurtado Orozco, David Espitia, Juliana Cueller, Megan Valentine, Nicolas Ocampo, Victoria Huan Zhu, , , , colombia changemakers locationfilm language-english subject-reflections youth
Mobility Fund Report, 2020In 2019, Changing the Story (CTS) launched a Mobility Fund, offering financial support of up to £1000 designed to enhance the mobility and professional development of CTS grantees based in …, , , , , , , , bosnia-and-herzegovina colombia india nepal south-africa venezuela locationreport language-english subject-policy youth
Phase One Critical Review: The Future is Unwritten (Colombia)Written by Dr Simon Dancey and Emily Morrison this critical review of the Phase One Colombia project explores what is known about social imaginaries in Colombia in existing literature and …Dr Simon Dancey, Emily Morrison, , , , , , colombia phase1 locationreport language-english sdg-11-sustainable-cities sdg-16-institutions subject-reflections youth
Safeguarding, the story so farSafeguarding means protecting vulnerable people from harm, whether malicious or unintended, by believing and responding to concerns through a systematic approach. In 2019-20, we’re developing a project to generate discussion …Tony Cegielka, , , colombia safeguarding locationfilm language-english sdg-16-institutions
YouthLEAD Case StudyYouthLead (Colombia) is a participatory arts research project and collaboration between Queen's University Belfast, National Centre for Historical Memory, Konrad Lorenz University and Gestores de Paz. which addresses two broad …, , , , , , , colombia locationarticle language-english sdg-10-inequalities sdg-16-institutions sdg-3-health-and-well-being subject-participatory-arts subject-street-art youth
The Arts of Survival (English)Written by Alejandro Castillejo Cuellar and investigators Alex Sierra and Juanita Frankey, the following critical review of the Phase 1 Colombia project Tales of the Future: Senses, Creativity and the …Prof Alejandro Castillejo-Cuéllar, , , , , colombia phase1 locationreport language-english sdg-11-sustainable-cities sdg-16-institutions subject-reflections
The planet of no memoryThis fanzine is created by the Youth Research Board's Preserving Memory Group composed by: David, Antonia, Trina and Leonard. It comes as a product of art research on projects supported …Antonia Bello, David Espitia, Leonard Nyiringabo, Trina Hoti, , , , colombia kosovo rwanda youth-research-board locationformat-zine language-english
The Arts of Survival (Spanish)Written by Alejandro Castillejo Cuellar and investigators Alex Sierra and Juanita Frankey, the following critical review of the Phase 1 Colombia project Tales of the Future: Senses, Creativity and the …Prof Alejandro Castillejo-Cuéllar, , , , , colombia phase1 locationreport language-spanish sdg-11-sustainable-cities sdg-16-institutions subject-reflections
Del ahogado el sombrero, a manera de manifiestoDel ahogado el sombrero, a manera de manifiesto: esbozos para una crítica al discurso transicional. Vibrant: Virtual Brazilian Anthropology. By Alejandro Castillejo Cuéllar, 2018.Prof Alejandro Castillejo-Cuéllar, colombia locationarticle language-spanish
Participatory digital methodologies with young people in “fragile” contexts in times of COVID-19Blog (2020/12/03) Participatory digital methodologies with young people in “fragile” contexts in times of COVID-19Dr Marlies Kustatscher, , , , colombia phase2 locationblog language-english subject-covid19 subject-reflections
Beyond the Development Imaginary: Alternative Policy in Brazil and ColombiaThis is an Accepted Manuscript version of chapter 3 of the book 'Participatory Arts in International Development' published by Routledge/CRC Press on 29 August 2019. The final version of each …Dr Simon Dancey, Emily Morrison, , brazil colombia locationarticle language-english
Transforming Conflict and Displacement through Arts and Humanities Opening PlenaryOpening plenary for PRAXIS virtual workshop, Transforming Conflict and Displacement through Arts and Humanities. With panellists Asma Khalifa, Ruth Daniel, Teresa Bean and Neelam RainaAsma Khalifa, Neelam Raina, PRAXIS, Ruth Daniel, Teresa Bean, , , , colombia event kashmir libya locationfilm language-english
Troubled Reflections: A small window of opportunity for transformation in ColombiaBlog (2019/05/18) Troubled Reflections: A small window of opportunity for transformation in ColombiaEmily Morrison, , , colombia phase1 locationblog language-english subject-reflections
How do young people in conflict settings view peace?Listen to the jungle, the rivers and the voices of young people from the Atrato River populations, one of the areas hardest hit in the country by the conflict. Alejandro …Prof Alejandro Castillejo-Cuéllar, , , , colombia phase1 locationlanguage-spanish sdg-11-sustainable-cities sdg-16-institutions subject-peace