Julia Carrillo Lerma | Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris – Sciences Po

A Colombian “Diaspora”: From Living and Leaving a Conflict to Engaging in Peace-building and the Rewriting of Social Memories of Violence

My dissertation examines diaspora participation in the transformation of conflict in the homeland, specifically by engaging in works of memory. In this analysis, war and conflict in the homeland constitute simultaneously push-factors and sources of memory. By exploring the role of diasporas in the mnemonic battles at play within a process of conflict transformation in the country of origin, this research revisits the “peace-makers ― spoilers ― neutrals” triad that traditionally categorizes diaspora participation in homeland conflicts. This work responds to a need to collect the life-histories of Colombian (political) migrants, as expressed by them, and by academic sectors.

The work is based on qualitative data obtained participant observation of associational and consular activities; collection of oral testimonies from members of Colombian migrants’ associations in Paris (FRA) and in the New York City – DC - Boston line; as well as archival research carried-out in Bogota (COL).