Colombia: Peace, the Peace Community and Social Reconciliation

About the event

The Colombian peace process has been heralded as paradigm-changing in the field of conflict resolution, especially for including victims in the negotiations, and for the idea that there should be a ‘territorial focus’. But what do communities of rural victims think of the peace process? What are the challenges of implementing the accords in regions like Urabá, where human rights violations persist? And what peace-building lessons can victims’ communities contribute to the rest of Colombian society who are beginning to think about what ‘peace’ means?  These questions were addressed drawing on the case of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, a campesino community that declared themselves neutral to the armed conflict in 1997, one of the most emblematic victims’ groups in Colombia, with whom Gwen has worked for five years.

About the speaker

Gwen Burnyeat is a British anthropologist based in Colombia and the UK. She has been lecturer in Political Anthropology in the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, where she did a Masters in Anthropology as a Leverhulme Trust Study-Abroad Scholar. Previously she studied literature at the Universities of Leeds and Cambridge. From September 2016, she will be a Wolfson scholar reading for a PhD in Anthropology at UCL, researching the social history of the Colombian peace process.

In Colombia she has worked with the International Centre for Transitional Justice and Peace Brigades International. She writes on Colombia for Latin America Bureau, and has recently produced an documentary called ‘Chocolate of Peace’: