DIGNITY and MEMORY MONUMENT

An initiative created in 2006 in Barranquilla, Colombia whose objective is to contribute to the construction of social memory, and to generate actions of reconciliation and peace through symbolic and artistic elements.

The monument is a Red Sur de Barranquilla initiative (South Barranquilla Network) installed in various public places in the city. It is a theatrical performance on important dates and commemorative events such as International Human Rights Day, December 10 or April 9, National Day of Remembrance and Solidarity with the Victims, among other commemorative events they are invited to attend. The staging is made up of several moments, each having its own purpose:

For Dignity: an installation of white chairs forms a crescent with a black shawl on their backs; along with black and white umbrellas with the slogan “Never Again”. The installation opens as a symbol and representation of the families who are victims of violence.

Mourning: afterwards, a Colombian flag 155 meters long is placed on the ground with 250 wooden plaques each displaying a name, date, location and violent event, similar to those in funeral homes. Some plaques will be blank for those who wish to write the name of a relative or known victim of violence.

For Memory: once all the plaques are installed, candles and colored flowers are added to the monument as a symbol of resilience, mourning and absence.

Proclamation for life: a story acted out by 3 actors on the stage who verbally express the value and the importance of life and the need to defend and respect human rights as well as the urgent need to build a viable country.

Never again: in closing, a banner with the affirmation “NEVER MORE” is placed in the background to demand that all the acts of victimization be made visible and never happen again in the country.

Resilience: the final symbolic act where paper butterflies of different colors appear on the stage to be delivered to the public as a symbol of transformation, of rebirth and to enable new stories that respect and appreciate life.

The spectators and organizations recognize that the creation of this monument has brings them several gains: going beyond the fear of speaking out, documenting cases, demanding justice, awareness of their right to reparations, recognizing themselves as victims, clarifying the facts and establishing links of solidarity with organizations defending their rights. It has also contributed to the process of individual and family healing.

The COVID-19 crisis COVID-19 is so enveloping that it has minimized the murders of men and women social leaders and human rights defenders. In this context, the installation of this Monument as a framework for reflection, participation, awareness for the defense of human rights and the protection of social leaders in their territories, contributes to the construction of memory in addition to stimulating community artistic and cultural practices.

For more information visit (in Spanish): http://hacemosmemoria.org/2020/12/03/el-monumento-por-la-dignidad-mas-de-una-decada-rescatando-la-memoria-en-barranquilla/

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