The CAPAZ thematic videos and video-columns bring together voices that speak to us about peace in Colombia. We introduce the public to our work involving the themes we work on and the actors with whom we collaborate in Colombia and Germany: researchers, organisations, institutions and communities. Each issue is a reflection on topics such as memory and political citizenship education; on the relations between peace and territorial, environmental dynamics and inequalities.

We also invite the voices that lead the country’s peace institutions: the JEP, the Truth Commission, and the Search Unit for Presumed Disappeared Persons in Colombia. We especially listen to the communities: whether in urban contexts like Medellin or rural contexts like Caquetá, as it is these communities that have suffered the violence the most and that dedicate their lives to building peace in their territories.

We leave you with this series of videos, produced in 2019 but of unquestionable validity today. Watch the video you are most interested in, get to know CAPAZ, travel the roads of Colombia, and follow the pulse of peace research in the country. And don’t forget to share: all the videos are available on CAPAZ’s YouTube channel. Make sure you subscribe!


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Transforming historical perspective
Video-column with Dr. Mónika Contreras Saiz from the Institute for Latin American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin

Dr. Mónika Contreras (FU Berlin) speaks to us about memory from a perspective that conceives it as an organisational process to denounce and rescue a violent past. A past that is still alive, especially in Latin America and Colombia. The researcher explains the implications of these processes for those who promote them and the role of academia as a collaborator in making them visible in the political and public agenda. The horizon that would promise the transformation of historical consciousness is uncertain, but there are more and more new words in the voices of those who are beginning to speak out. Video-column with Mónika Contreras (in Spanish with German subtitles)

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How much inequality can peace endure?
Video-column with Dr. Stefan Peters, CAPAZ Academic Director

Dr. Stefan Peters, Professor of Peace Studies at Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany is also CAPAZ’ Academic Director. In this video-column, Dr. Peters discusses the nodal points of research on social inequalities and the intersectional approach, in relation to his work as director of the CAPAZ Institute in the Colombian context. Throughout the conversation, he highlights the importance of making the forms of inequality visible as determining factors in the conflict and in the processes of building collective memory in Colombia. At the end, he lists the challenges that must be taken up by politics if it is to really listen to the emerging voices, from different sides, in favour of peace building. Video-column with Stefan Peters (German with subtitles in Spanish)

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Transitional Justice in Colombia
Video-column with Dr. Kai Ambos, Director of the Centre for the Study of Latin American Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure – CEDPAL (University of Göttingen)

What do we understand by transitional justice and what challenges does this justice imply in general and in the Colombian context? These are the central themes that Dr. Kai Ambos, expert in criminal law and amicus curiae of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace – JEP – addresses in this video-column. He makes special mention of the Amnesty Law. Because of its differentiated approach and presentation, along with an explanation of its development, this transitional law and justice, implemented with the signing of the Final Agreement constitute a case study and generate expectations in the academic world. What role do academia and research play in its application? To review, analyse, accompany and support the peace agreements, says the German jurist. He insists that the biggest challenge to be tackled is meeting the needs and demands of the victims. Video-column with Kai Ambos (German with subtitles in Spanish)

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Democracy needs democrats. Political Citizenship Education
Video-column with Dr. Thomas Krüger, President of the BpB (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung)

Citizen political education is not transmitted from generation to generation. It is a daily effort to build the necessary basic knowledge and motivate citizens’ political participation. The president of the Federal Centre for Citizenship Education in Germany (Die Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung – BpB), Dr. Thomas Krüger, explains how this organisation promotes strategies – in his country and in Colombia – to carry out this educational work and reach people with the lowest levels of schooling, using technological and media tools available in the contemporary world. The Centre also strengthens ties with the public interested in political content and who are more familiar with academic discourse and its channels of dissemination. In “post-conflict” societies, Citizen Political Education emphasises dialogue for peacebuilding. The fundamental reason for the presence of Dr. Krüger and BpB in Colombia is to aid the exchange of experiences between Colombia and Germany, promoting reflection and learning in the field of Political Citizenship Education. Video-column with Thomas Krüger (German with subtitles in Spanish)

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Territorial Peace and Environmental Democracy
Video-column with Dr. Kristina Dietz (FU Berlin) and Dr. Cecilia Roa (Universidad de los Andes)

“Territorial peace” as a process of social and territorial transformation, and “Environmental Democracy” as a social aspiration. This is how the researchers interviewed in this video-column, Kristina Dietz (FU Berlin) and Cecilia Roa (Universidad de los Andes) present these concepts. The researchers offer a complex panorama in the post-agreement period. Because conflicts are transformed: the ceasefire, the handing over of weapons, the presence (or absence) of armed actors are conditions of a phase, which is fundamental, but by no means the only one, in the path towards peace. The two researchers (each from their own field) insist on the need to actively link different actors, to deploy democratic processes that allow them to meet the demand for political and social justice, to reduce social inequality, to open up to other world views and to build collectively in each territory. We will have to ask ourselves the big questions and restructure our constantly changing lives into a new phase of conflict, without neglecting the interests of the social actors directly affected. Video-column with Kristina Dietz and Cecilia Roa (Spanish and German with subtitles)


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Medicinal plants, memory and territory in Caquetá

In 2018, in partnership with the SALUDPAZ Network and the Peace Office at Universidad de la Amazonía, the CAPAZ Institute supported the project on medicinal plants and territory in certain regions affected by the armed conflict in the department of Caquetá, in the Amazon foothills. This territory is characterised by ethnic diversity, rich biodiversity and the development of the productive sector, in industries such as mining and hydrocarbons. In this video, project participants talk about the importance of medicinal plant gardens as manifestations of the relationship of well-being that links communities to the land. In living testimonies of resistance in times of violence, plants offer a path of reciprocal healing and encourage the creation of networks of affection and solidarity, which lead to processes of knowledge building. Watch the video (in Spanish with German subtitles)

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Autobiographical writing, subjective reparation, and memory in those who have suffered political violence in Colombia

Writing as a transformative experience when dealing with a painful past was the subject of analysis in the CAPAZ-supported project, implemented by Universidad de Antioquia in 2018. The writers are mostly women who are victims of the Colombian armed conflict and have decided to confront and narrate their memories through autobiographical writing. There is also the voice of Jota, who shows us that conflict does not distinguish between genders. In this thematic video we listen to a few lines of their writings and we share their vision about writing in their lives. The research team that led the project accompanied these processes, which are necessary, as Maryluz tells us, because “what is not written, does not exist”. Watch the video (in Spanish with German subtitles)

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Transitional Justice and Human Rights

The implementation of the Transitional Justice model approved in the Final Agreement signed in Colombia to end the armed conflict is a case study in the world and has been supported by international cooperation. Academia’s critical view plays a special role. In 2019, CAPAZ together with the Centre for the Study of Latin American Criminal and Procedural Law (CEDPAL) at the University of Göttingen formalised academic cooperation with the components of the Comprehensive System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition. In the video, we heard Patricia Linares, Luz Marina Monzón, and Father Francisco de Roux explain what the collaboration between CAPAZ, academia, the international community and the institutions they represent has entailed. Based on the conviction that truth and justice processes are fundamental to carry out a successful peace process, these institutions have managed to establish a network of collaboration in different areas, with an emphasis on supporting victims’ reporting to the JEP and the Truth Commission. Watch the video (German and Spanish with subtitles)

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The CAPAZ Institute: Academic cooperation for peace in Colombia

CAPAZ is a network for academic cooperation between Germany and Colombia on peace issues. It began its work in 2017, together with ten higher education and research institutions in both countries. Two years later, the CAPAZ Institute was extended to ten more partner institutions. Its mission is to contribute to stable and lasting peace in Colombia through scientific collaboration, and intercultural dialogue between academia, institutions and society. Through its research lines and technology-based platforms such as NETCAPAZ, CAPAZ has established the theoretical framework of its action. The institute continues in its purpose to promote the participation of more voices and the strengthening of cooperation links. Watch the video – Teaser CAPAZ (in Spanish with German subtitles)


Web Review:
Texts: Lorena Terán, Claudia Maya
English version: Tiziana Laudato

CAPAZ Thematic videos and video-columns:
Produced by: CAPAZ
Conception and production: Hanna Thiesing and Claudia Maya