Recognizing and Dignifying: Restorative Art in Conflicts
Through three works by Colombian artist Érika Diettes, Río abajo (2008), Sudarios (2011) and Relicarios (2015), we will observe how art can play a transformative role in situations of armed conflict.
Art can enable victims of conflict—here of the Colombian conflict—to gain recognition of their pain and prepare the transition to post-conflict societies. In the works that we will evoke, this recognition does not rest on the display of the violence and abuses suffered, but on a collaborative work between the victims and the artist, in which the victims can express their traumatic experiences and receive a form of consideration that dignifies them, contributing at the same time to a reparation – albeit a symbolic one. Social transformation here consists in seeking to overcome psychosocial affectations, such as impossible grief, bewilderment and pain, feelings of abandonment, loneliness and helplessness. Indeed, artistic work aims at the rehumanization of victims who have been made invisible. But with this dignification and rehumanization, art also creates the conditions for the transition to a post-conflict society, as it invites conciliation by showing that individual pain is also collective pain. In this way, it can combat the emergence of ghosts of the past and the repetition of atrocities.
Emmanuelle Sinardet is a professor for Latin American studies at the University of Paris Nanterre, France, where she teaches Latin American economic, political and cultural history. Since 2007, she has been in charge of the Centre d’Études Équatoriennes in the Centre de Recherches Ibériques et Ibéro-américaines (CRIIA) and the Unité de Recherche (UR) Etudes Romanes, a research group that has extensive experience in studies related to literature, culture, language and didactics of Spanish language. She is a recognized expert on Hispanic studies and her research focuses on nation-building, nationalism, cultural policies in the 19th and 20th centuries, in Latin America and in the Philippines. Professor Sinardet is a member of editorial boards and a reviewer for several scientific journals (Crisol, Les Travaux du GRELPP, Rita, CRLA-Archivos, Cahiers ALHIM, América, among others) and books (Histoires de la littérature et fragments de littératures oubliées I: mondes américains en interaction). She also works as a translator for the projects ¡Basta! 100 mujeres contra la violencia de género (Panamá, Colombia, Venezuela) and Lectures d’ailleurs.
For more information, please contact: