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CAPAZ Working Paper: “The art of memory – The memory of art”

Cover of the CAPAZ Working Paper 4-2019

“For over thirty years, I have been working as a memory artist and have tried to develop, often in joint projects with Andreas Knitz, new forms of the monument. Our works became known as negative monuments (Negativ-Denkmale in German) or Counter-Monuments. They are not erected on pedestals, nor are they cast in bronze or carved in marble. They deal with emptiness, loss, and silence. Like most post-war German children, I also grew up with silence about National Socialist war crimes and the Holocaust. But children feel the silence in the family, they feel the taboo, and later, as teenagers and adults, they barge in with their questions and never stop for the rest of their lives. That’s how it is with me. In this document, I would like to summarise some of my works with negative monuments or counter-monuments”.

CAPAZ presents the working document (04-2019) dedicated to the theme of memory and art, from the perspective of the German artist Horst Hoheisel.


Horst Hoheisel was born in 1944 in Poznan, Poland. He first studied forest sciences and earned a doctorate with an ecosystem analysis of a tropical rainforest in Venezuela. Simultaneously he studied arts at the Kassel School of Arts, and since 1980 has been working as a freelance artist and visiting professor at the Bauhaus University in Weimar. Together with Andreas Knitz, he has created numerous new forms of monuments, including in Latin America. Horst Hoheisel lives and works in Kassel and Berlin.


Hoheisel, H. The Art of Memory – The Memory of Art. CAPAZ, Working Paper 4-2019. Bogotá, 2019, 24 p. ISSN: 2711-0354

CAPAZ Working Paper 4-2019 (In Spanish)

(Text: Claudia Maya, English version: Tiziana Laudato)


CAPAZ Policy Brief 5-2019: Conocimiento, investigación científica y construcción de paz

El presente Policy Brief, publicado en noviembre de 2019 por el Instituto Colombo-Alemán para la Paz – CAPAZ (5-2019) brinda algunos elementos conceptuales para entender la compleja relación entre producción de conocimiento y construcción de paz, y plantea recomendaciones para que las políticas públicas fomenten una interacción más eficaz entre las diversas fuentes de conocimiento existentes en torno a la construcción de una sociedad en paz.


Alejandro Balanzó. Profesor titular en la Universidad Externado de Colombia. Doctor en Gobernanza del Conocimiento y la Innovación de la Universidad de Twente (Países Bajos). Contacto:

Carlos Mauricio Nupia. Director Administrativo del Instituto Colombo-Alemán para la Paz (CAPAZ). Doctor en Ciencia Política de la Universidad Libre de Berlín (Alemania). Contacto:

Juan Pablo Centeno. Asistente de Investigación en la Universidad Externado de Colombia. Magister en Gobierno y Políticas Públicas de la Universidad Externado de Colombia. Contacto:


Balanzó, A., Nupia, C.M., Centeno, J.P. Conocimiento investigación científica y construcción de paz. Instituto Colombo-Alemán para la Paz – CAPAZ, PB 5-2019. Bogotá, 2019, 10  p. ISSN: 2711-0346

CAPAZ Policy Brief 5-2019 (In Spanish)


CAPAZ 2019 Young Researchers Congress Programme



Together with Universidad de Antioquia, and in partnership with the University of Groningen, CAPAZ is pleased to share the programme for the International Congress of Young Researchers, which will take place at the Ciudad Universitaria in Medellín on November 6-7, 2019. 

This year’s version of the congress is entitled “Peace and Post-Conflict Narratives in University Research”, and will be held during the week of cooperation and joint work between professors and researchers at Universidad de Antioquia, the University of Groningen (Netherlands) and the CAPAZ Institute.

The purpose of the congress is one the one hand to present the experiences, projects and research studies of young master’s and doctoral students in Colombia, whose work addresses some of the phenomena of peacebuilding and transition processes in Colombia.

On the other hand, the academic event also encourages the strengthening of joint initiatives between the above-mentioned universities and the CAPAZ Institute, with emphasis on cooperation and the development of peacebuilding projects in the department of Antioquia.


The academic programme for the CAPAZ 2019 Congress of Young Researchers includes several panels including a panel of researchers from the University of Groningen; three panels of young researchers on a) peace, conflicts and territorial reconfigurations, b) transitional justice and human rights, and c) memory and education.

Researchers Axel Rojas (Universidad del Cauca), Gabriel Alberto Ruíz (Universidad de Medellín), and Yesid Reyes (Universidad Externado de Colombia) will give keynote lectures during the Congress.

We would also like to highlight the presentation of a mapping of the Universities’ peacebuilding research projects: articulation and coordination for peacebuilding.


Take a look at the programme for the 2019 CAPAZ Congress of Young Researchers (in Spanish).


For more information:


(Text: Claudia Maya, English version: Tiziana Laudato).


First workshop of the JEP and CEV accompaniment project

Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters. Photo: Claudia Maya/CAPAZ

On October 3 and 4, 2019, CAPAZ, together with the Centre for the Study of Latin American Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure (CEDPAL) of the University of Göttingen, the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) and the Truth Commission (CEV) held a workshop entitled “Dialogue with universities on reporting to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) and the Truth Commission (CEV)” at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB) in Bogotá.

The workshop is one of the activities developed as part of the project entitled “Stabilisation of Peace in Colombia through Justice and Truth”, aimed at strengthening the Integral System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition (SIVJRNR), which receives funding from the German Federal Foreign Office.

Regional dialogue between institutions and academia

The main achievement of the October 2019 conference was to open up a dialogue involving representatives of the state institutions JEP and CEV -created as a result of the Final Agreement signed in Havana in 2016- and professors from CAPAZ associate universities located in different parts of Colombia.

Representatives of CEV, JEP and the Procuraduría participated in the workshop. Photo: Claudia Maya/CAPAZ

Submission of reports

Teachers with experience in issues related to working with victims, violence and post-conflict were trained by members of JEP and the CEV to write reports according to their guidelines.

The reports will be used as input for the institutions’ execution of the tasks. In this respect, they must comply with certain parameters and take into account the thematic axes of the research carried out by these institutions.

The importance of these documents lies in the fact that, on the one hand, they come from professionals and entities that work hand in hand with communities and human rights and victims’ organisations. On the other hand, they contribute to the construction of a polyphonic truth, since they allow the victims’ voices, their experiences and views that respond to the country’s different realities to reach state institutions and have an impact on them.

Group of participants. Photo: Claudia Maya/CAPAZ

Contribution of the academia in the regions

The participants in the event and their universities, are key actors: through their own research projects and the close work with the communities and human rights and victims’ organisations of their regions, they could enable the preparation of rigorous documents that reflect the voice of each community or entity and narrate the violence experienced, with a possible impact on the key state institutions in the SIVJRNR.


Other workshops and activities will be held within the framework of this project, as will the production of publications. The following workshop, which will take place during the last weeks of November 2019, will be a replica of the first one addressed to CAPAZ partner universities in Bogotá.

Further information:

Astrid Orjuela:
Valentina Pardo:


(Text: Valentina Pardo, Claudia Maya, English version: Tiziana Laudato).



Call for Second CAPAZ Congress for young researchers 2019

U. de A. Photo: Commons Wikipedia

The German-Colombian Peace Institute – CAPAZ and Universidad de Antioquia (U. de A.) are calling for proposals to participate in the Second CAPAZ Congress for Young Researchers, which will take place on November 6 and 7, 2019 in Medellín, Colombia.

The call is addressed to Colombian students enrolled in master’s or doctoral programmes in CAPAZ partner universities and whose thesis projects are sufficiently advanced. The works must refer to a topic relevant to the peace process in Colombia and be focused on one of the following thematic axes:

  • Transitional Justice and Human Rights
  • Peacebuilding (Memory or Education)
  • Peace, conflicts and territorial reconfigurations


Selection of participants

CAPAZ will select the participants of the Second Congress for Young Researchers. Those selected will have the opportunity to present their work at the congress and will receive comments from Colombian and international professors and experts in the thematic axes. Selected participants must submit their research proposal (exposé) and/or doctoral thesis advances no later than October 30, 2019.

Travel and accommodation expenses for selected persons whose place of residence in Colombia is different from the city in which the Congress will take place will be covered by the organisers of the event.

Candidates must make sure that the read the terms and conditions carefully (in Spanish).


Deadline for applications: Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 23:59 hours (Colombian time)


Applications must be sent by the deadline specified in this call for proposals to the following e-mail address: with the subject line: “Postulación Congreso Jóvenes Investigadores 2019”.

Applications sent after this deadline or without the required documentation will not be considered.

Concerns about the call and applications can only be processed through the email above. Please refrain from contacting us through other CAPAZ institutional emails.



German-Colombian Peace Institute – CAPAZ (+571) 342 1803 Ext. 29981 /


(Text: Claudia Maya. English version: Tiziana Laudato)



Germany and Colombia promote citizen political education in Colombia

Participants in the forum. Photo: Luis Enrique Sierra/CAPAZ

The forum “Citizen Political Education” gathered expert voices from Colombia and Germany around the same purpose: to strengthen citizen political education in Colombia. During the conference held on September 5, 2019 at Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá, participants were able to learn about academic reflections, practical initiatives, and future ideas on political and civic education in Colombia.

The event was organised by the German-Colombian Peace Institute – CAPAZ and the Centro de Pensamiento Nicanor Restrepo Santamaría para la Reconstrucción Civil (CeNiRS) at Universidad Nacional, with support from the German Embassy in Colombia, the German cooperation agency GIZ in Colombia, and the AMBERO consortium, Commo Consult, and Ideaborn.

During the opening of the forum, representatives of the organising institutions agreed to extend an open invitation to different social, academic, political, and educational sectors to join the purpose of promoting political education in Colombia.

Opening of the event. Photo: Luis Enrique Sierra/CAPAZ

CAPAZ Director Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters emphasized the contribution that citizen political education can make to strengthen democracy and peace. Luz Teresa Gómez de Mantilla, vice-rector of research at Universidad Nacional, highlighted the role of the university as a plural space for collective and open discussion on issues affecting society.

During the two afternoon panels, representatives from academia, civil society, and the education sector discussed the importance of citizen political education in Colombia and presented different experiences and proposals.

On the second day, there were three working groups that developed road maps to strengthen citizen political education in Colombia in the following areas: teacher training, series of publications, and elements for a consensus on the foundations of citizen political education.

Prof. Dr. Bernd Overwien’s lecture. Photo: Luis Enrique Sierra/CAPAZ

Germany and “politische Bildung”

The academic foundations of the “politische Bildung” were presented by Prof. Dr. Bernd Overwien, from the University of Kassel, Germany. Prof. Overwien offered an approach to the term and its application in the contexts of German-speaking societies, dating back to the post-war years. Civic political education or politische Bildung in Germany has transcended the school environment, and its scope today includes different forms of civil society organisation.

You may also like: Civic education in Germany: Development and aspects of the current discussion (CAPAZ Working Paper written by Prof. Dr. Bernd Overwien, in Spanish) 

Thomas Krüger, president of the Federal Centre for Political Education (BpB), presented the work of the office he heads. The BpB reports to the German Ministry of the Interior and has been working since the 1950s to create, promote, and disseminate educational content and tools for various sectors of society.

Thomas Krüger, President of the BpB. Photo: Luis Enrique Sierra/CAPAZ

The main purpose of the BpB is to inform and educate citizens not only about political life, but also about everyday and current issues such as the environment, conflicts in schools, working life, gender, and history. Large amounts of information are made available on its website and in a wide variety of print publications, for example around 500 books every year. More of 220 employers collaborate with the BpB in its headquarters in Bonn und Berlin.

“Political education is a task that needs to be fuelled daily”

For Thomas Krüger, the political education of citizens is a process that defends democracy and must adjust to the plurality of societies. According to Krüger, democracy requires democrats, and thus democracy must be part of a society’s formative and informative agenda. The promotion of democratic values should not be the exclusive task of political parties or actors.

In Germany, political education takes place in different fields: school, extracurricular or outside classrooms and also in the field of self-learning. The latter implies critical activism and willingness to self-qualify, which is typical of young people today.

Academic discourse is part of it, but it’s not everything

The challenge is to involve and maintain motivation among citizens, especially among young audiences. The Federal Centre for Citizen Political Education offers contents based on academic research, presented in formats such as didactic material, printed texts, games, online applications, audio-visual material, and contents in social networks.

“With different formats of content presentation, we seek to ‘ignite’ motivation and make audiences go from passive to active”, said the President of BpB. Actors with recognition and influence in society can also contribute to political education. The purpose of the BpB is precisely to reach audiences that are not familiar with political issues.

Thomas Krüger exchanged on civic education in other meetings, here with Sergio Fajardo. Photo: Luis Enrique Sierra/CAPAZ

In Colombia the call is to dialogue

For Thomas Krüger, in Colombia, we have to look for new ways to overcome the conflict. In the current Colombian context, Krüger perceives the conflict as still very close, very present. He emphasised dialogue as a mechanism for overcoming polarisations and the conflict itself.

“Colombia must establish dialogue and put it above private interests. The current context of transition after the signing of the peace accords calls for individualism to be set aside, fertilising and caring for plurality. Political education is per se a process of dialogue that is built from different perspectives”.

Thomas Krüger highlighted the interest and commitment to citizen political education initiatives he has encountered during his visits to Colombia.

He highlighted, for example, initiatives in rural areas, associations of victims or indigenous communities. “Values such as solidarity, trust and mutual support allow us to overcome the discourses that persist in the idea of reproducing conflict”.

Thomas Krüger together with the Director and representative of CNMH. Photo: Carolina Cerón

Mr. Krüger’s visit to Colombia was also involved discussions on the role of citizen political education in the peace process and the strengthening of democracy. On the agenda, Mr. Krüger met with Colombian congressmen, the director of the National Centre of Historical Memory, Dr. Darío Acevedo Carmona, representatives of the Commission for the Clarification of Truth, Coexistence and Non-Repetition (CEV), and Sergio Fajardo.


(Text: Claudia Maya. Revised by: Stefan Peters. English version: Tiziana Laudato)




Informations released about the forum:

Portal del DAAD Colombia

Facebook del DAAD Colombia

Agencia de Noticias de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia UNIMEDIOS

Portal del Centro de Pensamiento Nicanor Restrepo Santamaría para la Reconstrucción Civil (CeNiRS)

Boletín SIUN de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Twitter Centro Alemán de Información para América Latina (AA)

Facebook Alemania en Colombia (Embajada de Alemania en Colombia)

Portal Universitario Universidad de Antioquia en Medellín

Portal del PRIF/HSFK (en alemán)

Portal Kienyke

Revista Arcadia

¿Es la democracia el imperio de los ignorantes? (Columna del profesor Francisco Cortés de la Universidad de Antioquia en el diario El Colombiano de Medellín)

El problema no es el populismo, sino exceso de populismo (Entrevista a Thomas Krüger en la W Radio Colombia)


CAPAZ 2019 Summer School Agenda in Berlin

The CAPAZ 2019 Summer School will take place in Berlin from 23 to 27 September 2019. The academic school is organised by CAPAZ, the Institute for Latin American Studies (LAI) of the Freie Universität Berlin, with the support of the LAI Alumni Programme, the GLOCON (Global Change-Local Conflicts) project, and TrAndeS (Postgraduate Programme in Sustainable Development and Social Inequalities in the Andean Region).

Based on the question “An exclusive peace? Peacebuilding in unequal contexts”, the academic school will analyse the implications of peacebuilding in Colombia in contexts of extreme social inequalities.

The summer school sessions will address four central themes: territoriality, memory, democracy, and justice. The programme will include discussions on historical memory in Germany and other countries. Researchers from Colombian and German universities will lead the sessions and discussions.

There will also be an offer of parallel activities in the German capital, such as visits to places of memory, meetings with members of the German Parliament, and a screening of documentary films.

Find out about the academic programme of the CAPAZ 2019 Summer School (in Spanish).


(Text: Claudia Maya. English version: Tiziana Laudato)


CAPAZ Working Paper: “Remembering, forgetting, talking, silencing. Social management of conflictive pasts”

“Remembering, forgetting, speaking, silencing. The social management of conflictive pasts” is the third working document published by CAPAZ in 2019. Its author is Tatjana Louis, researcher and associate professor at the School of Social Sciences at Universidad de los Andes. Her research emphasis focuses on the development of historical awareness, and the teaching and learning of history.


In societies in transition, historical memory is an instrument for the symbolic reparation of victims, the clarification of truth, and the goal of social reconciliation. However, the work of memory in a society goes beyond the time limits of transitional justice and presents a challenge for different generations. Based on the analysis of manuals for teaching history in various historical periods, this text addresses the long-term social management of painful pasts in two different contexts: in Colombia, the period of La Violencia; and in Germany, the Nazi dictatorship and the legacy of the German Democratic Republic. The manuals show what society considers necessary to teach future generations. At the same time, they serve as a mirror of today’s society. An analysis of training processes in schools can therefore shed light on the social development of a historical memory.

Louis, T. Recordar, olvidar, hablar, silenciar. El manejo social de pasados conflictivos. Instituto Colombo-Alemán para la Paz – CAPAZ, Bogotá: 2019, 41 p.

Read the CAPAZ working paper 3-2019 (In Spanish).

(Text: Claudia Maya. English version: Tiziana Laudato)


CAPAZ Working Paper: “Civic education in Germany: Development and aspects of the current discussion”

The working document entitled “Civic education in Germany: Development and aspects of the current discussion” is CAPAZ’ most recent publication (Working Document 2-2019). Its author is Prof. Dr. Bernd Overwien, professor of civic education didactics at the University of Kassel, Germany. In the introduction, Prof. Dr. Overwien brings us closer to the definition of the concept in the German-speaking context:

‘Politische Bildung’ is the term used in German-speaking countries to refer to school and extra-curricular learning activities that prepare or accompany students in the management of politics by acquiring appropriate knowledge and skills. In this respect, political education moves in a relationship of tensions between pedagogy and politics. (Fischer 1972; Mambour 2007, p. 9). Political education is by no means limited to certain age groups: natural and social science classes in primary school prepare students at an early age (6-10 years) to deal with political and social science issues. Civic education as a whole has, in recent decades, resorted to social science knowledge and methods. However, civic education is older and the corresponding lines of progress are drawn and developed in this working paper. The central debates will be outlined on this basis, and finally discussed with a view to current discussions in Colombia”.

Read the CAPAZ working paper (2-2019) (in Spanish)

Overwien, B. Educación cívica en Alemania: desarrollo y aspectos de la discusión actual. Instituto Colombo-Alemán para la Paz – CAPAZ, Bogotá: 2019. 30 p.

(Text: Claudia Maya, English version: Tiziana Laudato)


CAPAZ formally receives funding from the German government for a project that will support peace institutions in Colombia

Ambassador Ptassek (on the left) and Prof. Dr. Peters signed the grant document. Some students of JLU Giessen visited the German Embassy for the signing. Photo: Daniel Alscher

The German Ambassador in Colombia, Dr. Peter Ptassek, and the Academic Director of CAPAZ, Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters formalised the financing by the German Federal Foreign Office for the project that will -based within academia- support the work of the Special Peace Jurisdiction (JEP) and the Commission for the Clarification of the Truth (CEV) in Colombia.

The signing of the grant document took place on August 9, 2019 at the headquarters of the German Embassy in Bogota.

You may also like: Justice and truth: Keys to the peace process in Colombia

The project will be led by the CAPAZ Institute and the Centre for the Study of Latin American Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure (CEDPAL), attached to the University of Göttingen. It will receive funding of more than 365,000 euros and will be executed between July 2019 and the end of 2020.

For more information: /  

Contact: Juliette Vargas (CAPAZ/CEDPAL):

(Text: Claudia Maya. English version: Tiziana Laudato)