Official Memories of Violence at the National Museum of Colombia, 1980-2000: Cocktails, Art or Social Criticism?

  • Jimena Perry East Carolina University
Keywords massacres, memory, museums, violence in colombia
Keywords massacres, memory, museums, violence in colombia


This article explores how the National Museum of Colombia´s' team of curators and other specialists encourage new reflections about citizenship through an ongoing current renovation project by including narratives of the recent violence endured by the country in the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. Using four pieces displayed at the Memory and Nation Hall, which opened on December 11, 2014, and only one of the seventeenth spaces under renewal, and some examples of unexposed artefacts, I discuss how the new museum´s narrative attempts to be diverse, inclusive, and participatory. I also examine how the museum, following the mandate of the 1991´s Constitution, persists in its effort to become culturally relevant for Colombian citizens. A place in which people can find their own story, as painful as it might be, and not feel just like a distant observer of their country’s past, therefore allowing them to develop a strong sense of participatory citizenship.

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