She decided to change her weapons for her camera because she wants Colombia to be a peaceful country after decades of war.
Alexa Rochi is a photographer an ex-combatant from FARC (Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces) that got into the peace agreement and is committed with peace. Photo: IG-alexarochi__
LatinAmerican Post | Ana Betancourt
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Leer en español: Alexa Rochi: fotógrafa y excombatiente de la guerrilla de las FARC
Alexa Rochi is a photographer an ex-combatant from FARC (Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces) that got into the peace agreement and is committed to peacebuilding through her photographs.
Alexa joined the guerrilla in 2006 when she was 15 years old because she was running from the paramilitary forces in her region. And also because in her house there was a lot of misogyny at the point that her father tried to sexually abuse her when she was a little girl.
In her first years in the guerrilla, she learnt military strategies and Marxism. But after that, she started to develop herself in medicine. “Learning medicine in the war is pretty easy because when you are at the university they teach you on the 6th or 7th semester how to channel a vein, but in war is not that way. If I have to channel your head, or your feet I will do it. Is not about the correct medicine theory, is about the conditions we have in the war, it is about survival”, says Alexa Rochi.
She was into medicine for some years, but one day her commander and best friend (Rocío) sent her to a propaganda course in the EMBO (Major State from the Eastern Block) and after that, she never returned to this job. “The last night I was a doctor Rocío died with an army bomb. And that was my last job as a doctor, to receive her broken body and try to heal it as much as I could”, confirms Alexa.
Her propaganda course opened her a door to be a photographer in the future. “When Alexa came to the course with me she already had some idea about photography because her commander was a photographer. When we got out of the guerrilla she decided to keep on going with photography and I decided to be more a videographer”, says Ivonne, an ex-combatant who went to the same course with Alexa.
Right now Alexa is taking photographs in Bogota. She tries to capture social mobilizations, protests, women's rights fight,s and violence all around the city. She decided to have photographs about these topics because after the Peace Agreement in 2016 the violence numbers have been increasing. From 2016 to this year there have been 1.018 murders to social leaders, FARC ex-combatants, and peacemakers, according to Indepaz numbers (an NGO following the peacemaking in Colombia).
“Alexa´s photographs are very rebel and would-you-answers because she is direct. She´s not scared to be on the fire if it is needed, because she was actually on the fire for a lot of years”, says Liseth, a photographer who met Alexa in a women's protest.
Alexa is not in the war anymore, despite she has never renounced her ideals and the fight she believes in. She keeps on working in peacebuilding and going forward to fight against gender-based violences in Colombia. “If we are inconvenient, we are making the correct things. I gave up on my weapons, but I am still a rebel with a cause. Now I don´t have to unseat my rifle and beat a blast, now I set up my camera, speed, diaphragm, and that´s it”, says Alexa Rochi.
She changed her rifle for her camera, the jungle for the city, a war for peace. But she keeps the same thinking: she wants social justice in Colombia.