The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

PBPL 85 Explores the Connection of Art and Peace

18F PBPL 85 Colombia

The PBPL 85 group in Medellin, the capital of Colombia's mountainous Antioquia province.

18F PBPL 85 Colombia

Stefaniá Rodriguez, Victoria Tobar, and Tony Evanko of the nonprofit Fundación Casa Tres Patios which promotes the arts.

18F PBPL 85 Colombia

PBPL 85 students contemplate the interaction between art, the conflict and violence, and the peace process.

18F PBPL 85 Colombia

PBPL 85 students explore the Medellin Museum of Modern Art, or MAMM, in Medellin.

Article Type 

After a night of sleeping not in tents, but in hotel beds, the PBPL 85 group woke up rested and ready to start the first day in Medellin, the capital of Colombia's mountainous Antioquia province. On the bus ride in from the airport, we had sensed that Medellin had a different feel from Bogotá. In Bogotá, we had spent most of our time meeting with government officials, scholars, and NGOs thinking specifically about the peace process. Our time in Medellin on the other hand was dedicated to examining the city as a whole, and looking at the social, political, and cultural transformations of the city over time—and seeing how all of this relates to the peace process.

 

The first day in Medellin was filled with exploring the arts and culture world in Colombia and Medellin specifically. Our first meeting of the day was with Stefaniá Rodriguez, Victoria Tobar, and Tony Evanko of Fundación Casa Tres Patios, a nonprofit organization with the aim of promoting the arts, combining arts with other disciplines to tackle social issues in Medellin, and bringing together a network of socially conscious artists and activists. We spoke with Stefaniá, Victoria, and Tony about the interaction between this contemporary art center, the conflict and violence, and the peace process. It was particularly fascinating to hear about their work with ex-combatants in the Espacios Territoriales de Capacitacion Reincorporation, or ECTRs, just a day after we stayed in the FARC reintegration camps ourselves. Memory is a priority for everyone in the country, and this theme came up over and over in discussing the role of art in moving on from the conflict. The Fundación Casa Tres Patios provides space for self-expression and reflection for artists, academics, activists, and members of the community and has expanded this work across Colombia.

 

In the afternoon we met with Maria Gonzalez at the Medellin Museum of Modern Art (MAMM as the Spanish acronym). Again we explored the role of arts and culture in transforming Medellin. We discussed the changes in public and private spaces in Medellin. One transformation in the past few years is the increased comfort in going out and enjoying public space, a major contrast with the recent past where Medellin was much less safe. MAMM has created place where young people come together to meet and express themselves in a community forum, and over time this space has been a key part of the political, social, and cultural transformation of Medellin. We asked about the peace process specifically and were excited to learn that MAMM was opening an exhibit on the peace process and the FARC that very day! Though our timing was a little off, we are excited to go back to the museum later this week to explore the exhibit.   

Written by Io Jones '19, 18F PBPL 85: Global Policy Leadership course participant

This is part of a series where PBPL 85:Global Policy Leadership students reflect on their experiences during the two-week field research portion of course. While in country, students meet with local policy leaders: politicians, academics, civil society leaders, journalists, business leaders, diplomats, and other in-country experts who help inform their analyses.

Close
The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences