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Andrea Catalina Suárez is a political scientist and lyric singer, and she has devoted a large part of her life working with women and young victims of violence through art
In conversations with Andrea Catalina Suárez, a political scientist at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, the LatinAmerican Post team spoke of the importance and potential of art as a tool of resistance and resilience in the post-conflict context in Colombia.
Leer en español: Arte y violencia: entrevista con Andrea Catalina Suárez
LatinAmerican Post: What is your work about?
Andrea Catalina Suárez: My degree project is about the construction of collective memory after Videla's dictatorship. It consists of a compilation of the songs of the mothers of the Plaza de Mayo and I do an analysis from the semiology to see how they construct a speech as a protest from the music.
LP: What has been your journey through these experiences?
ACS: I started working in an NGO in Argentina to replicate it later in Colombia. Here I have worked with women victims of armed conflict settled in Bogotá, mostly displaced from the conflict. I also work with the mothers of Soacha, Mujeres dejando huella, Altos de Cajicá, Palermo sur, biblical houses and with groups of young children whose parents suffered the Colombian violence.
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LP: What tools do you use with these people?
ACS: We use a self-care tool from the energy system and the dance that is the compilation of several techniques and was implemented in Iraq, El Salvador and Colombia. Through the town, we identify different violence because the body is the first receptor and the movement is the first healer or tool of catharsis.
With women victims of sexual violence, what we work is through the centers, specifically from the second farm. This type of violence generates blockages that affect your ability to communicate, decant memories, block your center and everything emotional.
There are two perspectives of action for these women: intersexualization, on the one hand, is when the victims seek too much contact, they seek other people like that, the limits are lost; while the others are totally inhibited by contact with others. Within these two poles, there are many lines, many ways of living, work must be very careful because when you move something that is in the body that memory comes out, you have to find a way for that woman to decant that memory not activate it.
LP: What is the power of art when communicating?
ACS: It allows to generate a speech and read a speech with elements, in my case, musical and extra-musical, inside and outside the art. Another form of relationship, more from the psychological point of view, is that art allows you to communicate things that you are not going to express so easily with words; it becomes a form of construction of those collective memories and individual memories and is an element of catharsis, since it allows decanting a series of things.
They are tools that help connect with the present, allow time travel, know that in the here and now there is a situation with which you can connect, change; generates understanding about life processes, because you move in one way and not another, creates positions in front of the world. Through it, you can find your own rhythm, your own voice, and your story.
LatinAmerican Post | Luisa Fernanda Báez
Translated from "Arte y violencia: entrevista con Andrea Catalina Suárez"