Ricardo Velasco is a documentarian and cultural studies scholar. He earned his PhD in Latin American Studies with Portfolio Certificates in Cultural Studies and Museum Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2020. Ricardo joins the IAS community of scholars as the Minnesota Transform Postdoctoral Associate.
We are thrilled to introduce Ricardo and his current project to you, and look forward to sharing a more in-depth interview with him in the spring.
"Cultural Ecologies of Memory and Symbolic Reparation in Transitional Colombia"
A Book and Digital Public Humanities Project
Relying on multi-sited ethnographies and archival research, this book proposes a transdisciplinary analysis of a range of cultural manifestations and activism practices promoting memory construction, reconciliation and justice that have proliferated in Colombia since 2005, the year the first transitional justice mechanisms were implemented. I propose the term “Cultural Ecologies” to stress the interconnected nature and complexity of practices that range from documentaries and photography exhibitions produced by state institutions to restore the dignity of victims and promote national reconciliation; to interventions of monuments with fabrics by victims’ organizations to make visible their symbolic claims for justice in public space. By creating spaces for interlocution between state institutions and civil society, I argue, ‘cultural ecologies’ serve as interfaces through which rural black communities and other disenfranchised groups, victims and human rights organizations are able to articulate their demands for historical redress, while making visible current claims for justice and present conditions of marginalization and exclusion.
The Digital Platform www.culturalecologies.com was designed to make available for online consultation more than one hundred hours of interviews and participant observation videos, photographs, and different documents that form the book’s empirical base. It combines digital storytelling, audiovisual composition, and archival techniques to make its content accessible and engaging to readers beyond academic circles.
Learn more about Minnesota Transform.