Imagining a new order together: a transmedia narrative about social science, media, and legal change in the case of peasant and indigenous movements in Colombia 1960-1991
This project studies the configuration process of Colombian peasant and indígena movements during the second part of the 20th century. In particular, it focuses on a collective known as ‘La Rosca de Investigación y Acción Social,’ which – combining the tools of social science with activism – sought to establish a collaboration between academics, indigenous groups, afro-descendants, and peasant-based communities in support of their political struggles. This collective struggle, which did not separate the academic from political grounds, relied on a proposal of methodological transformation in social science called ‘Investigación Acción Participativa’ (IAP).
The members of ‘La Rosca’ and other collectivities that sought to articulate scholarly knowledge with social change were some of the many actors supporting popular rights struggles during the second part of the 20th century. They usually included a critique of the existing law and profusely used different forms of communication as a fundamental part of their reflections. One of the main elements of these critiques was the creation of new forms of interaction focused on collaboration with grassroots communities that went far beyond the written word: cinema, theater, testimonial literature, radio, and graphic novels, among others. These new methods opened spaces for interaction and discussion between diverse sectors to improve society.
The interest in creating knowledge to transform society using participatory techniques was used in different parts of the so-called Global South. However, a legal historiographical agenda focused on State law has obscured the role of these initiatives in posterior legal changes and social transformations. This research seeks to fill the historiographical gap.
The research will focus on the systematic study of the following archives in Colombia: The Audio Archives of the Fundación Colombia Nuestra (Cali), the Private Archives of Víctor Daniel Bonilla (Bogotá) and Orlando Fals Borda (Montería), both founders of La Rosca, and the Acción Cultural Popular Archives. These archives hold significant collections of written, graphic and audio sources. Remote and in-situ interviews along with various Transmedia products will be at the heart of this work.