6th to 9th March 2019 special guests Maria Fanlo Torrecilla (International Catalan Institute for Peace) & Participatory photographer and documentary film-maker Ingrid Guyon visited Northern Ireland to present the Cuerpos Gramaticales (Grammatical Bodies) project “Sowing of Life”
Cuerpos Gramaticales is a project and methodology led by Agroarte collective in Medellín Commune 13, (Colombia) with the aim of generating practices of memories that contribute to the reconstruction of the social fabric following the phenomenon of enforced disappearance in the Commune, especially as a result of the Orion operation, that left more than 300 people disappeared. Agroarte is a process of peaceful resistance to oblivion and denunciation that uses sowing and art as tools to heal bodies and territories in defense of life, generating methodologies that build a community empowerment from dialogue as a way to build peace.
ICIP, with the support of the Barcelona City Hall and Agroarte, transferred this action to the city of Barcelona within the framework of the project 'Strategies of Memory, Truth and Reconciliation of Colombian Women Abroad', which focuses on peacebuilding and memory through artistic expressions. The performative action of Cuerpos Gramaticales in Barcelona supposes the conjunction between the struggles within the Colombian territory and the initiatives and demands of the women of the Colombian Diaspora. By joining other women’s bodies and voices, they build and generate collective processes of empowerment and healing.
As discussions have started regarding the project taking place in Mid Ulster adapted to the Northern Ireland environment, Ingrid and Maria will be sharing film and photography documenting the project and talking about the process, experience and impact.
Ingrid’s & Maria’s visit if part of the #FUTyoURES initiative - the flagship creative shared peace programme between Northern Ireland & Colombia and Colombian Diaspora developed by the organisations Beyond Skin & Escuelas de Paz.
Maria and Ingrid visited groups in the Mid Ulster area and participating in an International Women’s Day event 8th March at Holy Trinity College Cookstown. Artists and peacebuilders from the Colombian community in Northern Ireland & Ireland will also be attending the International Women’s Day event.
The International Women’s Day programme has been funded by Mid Ulster Council Good Relations. The programme was organised by Beyond Skin in partnership with Escuelas de Paz, Agroarte, Cuerpos Gramaticales, International Catalan Institute for Peace & Fotosynthesis.
ESCUELAS DE PAZ
Fundacion Escuelas de Paz is a pioneer and a leading organization in the international movement of peace education. Since 2001, we have established ourselves as a leading organization in this field of work changing the lives of more than 120 educational institutions, 1.200 instructors and 25.000 youngsters. Our projects are dedicated to the construction of cultures of peace and the proactive exertion of human rights. We are a team of interdisciplinary professionals that are part of an extensive network of national and international institutions that promote new Cultures of Peace.
The organization's guiding work principles are the promotion of cultures of peace as well as peace education and human rights education. Fundación Escuelas de Paz encourages the construction of cultures of peace by means of its own institutional experience. We are the first school to develop and practice our participatory methods and also offer a realistic learning experience to a large number of volunteers and interns by the use of training programs.
Escuelas de Paz transforms peace education into a life lesson based on participation, constant learning and the empowerment of all participants. The given socio-political circumstances necessitates joint efforts in order to develop and shape solutions in changing environments. Due to its great influence, the culture of peace is an incontrovertible element of education in our time. www.escuelasdepaz.co
Cuerpos Gramaticales in Barcelona included artistic workshops, in order to work on the concepts of memory and reconciliation through various expressions, such as dance, sensory theatre, literature and embroidery, and culminated with a final live performative action in a public space consisting of a symbolic collective sowing, on 21 October 2017. Colombian women from the diaspora and Catalans participated in the initiative. Cuerpos Gramaticales became a powerful action that not only supported the memory of all the participants but also enabled to generate reflections about the Colombian conflict and the diaspora processes and contributed to a collective catharsis. The exhibition and documentary “The Sowing of Life. Cuerpos Gramaticales Barcelona” show the journey of this moving and potent process.
Cuerpos Gramaticales is a process of collective care in which the participants prepare their bodies and souls through dance, theatre, literature and embroidery workshops that allowed the building of trust between them before the sowing action. Planting themselves allows them to go over their own memory and heal it, listening to internal dialogues in silence, listening to others and recognizing each other from common spaces, from the power of doing together.
The final action was nourished by the diversity of women: some planted themselves to heal the deep marks that the Colombian conflict had left in their bodies and in the social fabric; others did it for their own sorrows; others, in solidarity with the struggles and resistance of women, the disappeared people and the victims. All of them planted themselves to build peace and reconciliation. www.facebook.com/LaVidaDeRitualess
Ingrid Guyon is a French documentary photographer, filmmaker and participatory visual media practitioner. Based in London she has more than 10 years of experience in implementing participatory media projects within the education, museums and international development sectors. She is the founding director of Fotosynthesis, a social enterprise expert in participatory and ethical photography. Her passion is for community engagement and self-representation led her to get involved in long-term documentary projects on migration and peace-building, and extensively work with the Colombian community. www.ingridguyon.com
MARIA FANLO TORRECILLA
Maria Fanlo Torrecilla is the coordinator of the programme “Peacebuilding and coexistence after violence” at the International Catalan Institute for Peace (ICIP), a public organization based in Barcelona. She is a political scientist and holds a Diploma in Peace Culture at the University Autonomous of Barcelona, a MA on Euro Mediterranean Studies at Cairo University and a MA on Social Memory and Human Rights at the National Distance Education University of Spain. At her current position, she is working in the Colombian transitional justice process supporting the mandate of the Colombian Truth Commission in Europe and working closely with Colombian exile organizations.
Agroarte is a group formed in 2002 by inhabitants of San Javier (Comuna 13, Medellin), from a process of resistance to the problems unleashed by the Escombrera (mass grave). Since then, they have generated memory and resistance actions in the city. The experience has defined two important lines for the collective: sowing and art, which are fed through training processes, production -grain and music-, communication and symbolic resistance. Through a methodology of dreaming by doing, a philosophy of resistance and change, they created processes of community empowerment and critical participation. They seek to generate empowerment processes with this contributing to the strengthening of coexistence, the reappropriationappropriation of the territory and generation of common places in areas affected by the conflict. Their bet is for the transformation of communities through training, sowing, and symbolic resignification of the territories. www.twitter.com/akamedellin
We are seed, together we grow.