The Representation of the Invisible: Voices of Resistance and Survival to the Colombian Armed Conflict

Sandra M Úsuga Giraldo, Purdue University


Colombia has experienced armed conflict for the past fifty years, and as stated in different studies and reports by political scientists, the civilian population has been the most affected due to displacement, disappearance, or death. Refusing to accept state-sponsored amnesia, writers and filmmakers have produced important works that examine violence from a historical and contemporary perspective. Of interest to these authors is the exploration from a psychological perspective of young people from working class neighborhoods who worked as paid assassins. In the wake of this large-scale literary movement, there has also been a surge of testimonial writings by members of marginalized urban communities, many of whom are displaced survivors of the conflict. While there have been valuable analyses of works by more canonical writers and filmmakers, to date there have been few studies looking at testimonial writings in conjunction with recent fiction. My dissertation focuses on the cultural production of the city of Medellín to argue that the study of these testimonial writings brings new perspectives to the understanding of how people from marginalized urban communities have coped with and resisted this violence. My work makes the case that these testimonials serve as vehicles that bring women’s voices to the forefront, providing strong evidence that women have been resourceful in their capacity for collective organization and as active peace promoters.




Stephenson, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Latin American literature|Latin American Studies

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