A Museum of Memory for Colombia: The emergence of a controversial space

Project: Dissertation project

Project participants


My dissertation project explores the physical dimension of the Colombian Memory Museum (urban, architectural and museographic scale).The museum is a symbolic reparation instrument framed within a transitional justice model created while the peace agreement between the national government and the FARC-EP guerrilla was in progress. The project analyses the timing and the reasons behind constructing the museum in Bogotá. It asks whether these decisions are the trigger that defines both the material presence of the museum in the city and its exhibition content.

In April 2015, the National government and the Society of Colombian Architects launched a competition to design the building for Colombia's Museum of Memory in Bogotá, located within the Peace and Memory Axis on Jorge Eliecer Gaitán Avenue. This urban initiative aims to transform the avenue dynamics, turning it into an axis of Collective Memory. Therefore, the Museum cannot be understood as an isolated project but as a link that, together with other cultural institutions, narrates the official memory of Colombia.

In April 2018, in the last months of Santos’ government (2010-2018), the museological script and curatorial content of the Museum were tested before its construction. The exhibition Voces para transformar a Colombia (Voices to Transform Colombia) is regarded as an itinerant laboratory, fostering the creation of networks connecting communities and memory sites in various territories with the Museum in Bogotá.

In August 2018, Iván Duque (2018-2022) assumed the presidency of Colombia. Duque achieved this position through a campaign opposing the previous government's peace policy. In February 2019, Duque placed in charge of the Museum a historian who challenges the existence of an armed conflict in Colombia and censored the Voces exhibition at Museo la Tertulia in Cali, held in October 2019. As a result, the Colombian transitional justice mechanism had to protect and prohibit any modification to the exhibition.

Following the historian Renán Silva, my projects understands the moment Colombia is going through as a “dispute over the interpretations of the past”. To map this dispute I study the unfinished Museum of Memory that not only represents these interpretations but is also being constructed in a different and conjunctural context.
Short titleA Museum of Memory for Colombia
Period01.10.23 → …


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