Contested Amnesia and Dissonant Narratives in the Global South: Post-conflict in Literature, Art, and Emergent Archives

The Cold War period and its subsequent post-conflicts are characterized by a remarkable amnesia, a politics of invisibilization, and the neglect of the archives that reflect the epistemic order of decolonization and the geopolitical configuration of the Global South. Yet counter-semantics and dissonant narratives that challenge historical oblivion have been articulated by artists, writers and institutional initiatives that increasingly seek to contest this amnesia with alternate fictitious material or visual archives. Conflict and post-conflict situations such as Colombia (1964-) and Lebanon (1975-1989/91) reconfigured an increasingly diverse landscape of memory cultures that claim truth and accountability. While some post-conflict societies opt for an amnesty that fosters the invisibilization of the protracted conflict (Lebanon), others initiate cultural and political processes of transitional justice (Colombia).

a remarkable amnesia, a politics of invisibilization, and the neglect of the archives.

Nurturing official silence, amnesia, and the fragmentation of society, the related political violence has generated complex and conflicting memory cultures that are shaped both by local and global biases. Drawing upon a comparative cultural analysis, this project examines the role of cultural production, aesthetic interventions, emergent archival practices, and dissonant narratives in processes of reconciliation, symbolic reparation, and remembrance in the post-conflict period, which may allow alternate and plural writings of history.





May 15th - 16th, 2020 Ecologías / Políticas: Huellas Antropogénicas y Resistencias

2020 Tschudi Lecture and SLASS Workshop
Public virtual conference: University of Zurich / Zoom
Cuerpos híbridos: ríos, ecologías y narrativas de la desaparición en Colombia
Presentation by Maria Ordóñez (UZH)


Mar 07, 2020, 3–7pm Film Screening and Discussion “Imagining Absence. Film and the Politics of Disappearance in Colombia and Lebanon”

Kino Toni, Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)
Discussion with Ghassan Halwani (Leb), Claudia Salamanca (Col), Fabienne Liptay (UZH) & Eduardo Jorge de Oliveira (UZH)
Organized by Iris Fraueneder (UZH) & Maria Ordóñez (UZH)


Feb 10 – 15, 2020 “RÉUNION” Performance Festival

Amapala / Isla Exposición
Public Screening “Algunas observaciones sobre el Paisaje”
Visual essay by Maria Ordóñez (UZH)
Honduras, Tegucigalpa.


Mar 19-22, 2020 Seminar “Staging Justice: Trials and Tribunals in Literature, Theater, and Film“

ACLA, American Comparative Literature Association, Chicago
“Investigative Aesthetics: The Archive and the Courtroom”
Lecture by Liliana Gómez (UZH)


Mar 25, 2020 Uriel Orlow, Artist Talk

With the support of the ZKK, Cultural Analysis (UZH) and SNFS.
Moderated by Liliana Gómez (UZH)
Cabaret Voltaire (Spiegelgasse 1, 8001 Zürich)


Mar 5 - 7, 2020 Conference of the Research Group “Art Production and Art Theory in the Age of Global Migration”

Universität Zürich, Lateinamerika-Zentrum Zürich
“Art/Histories: Migrations, Transculturality & The Idea of Latin America”
Organized and conceptualized by
Pauline Bachmann, UZH
Miriam Oesterreich, Technische Universität Darmstadt