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Creative Movement Encounters with Guerrilla Ex-Combatants with Disabilities. Promoting Reconciliation and Inclusion in Colombia

Co create reconciliation scenarios between former guerrilla people with and without disabilities and the communities they reintegrate

Photo of Nayibe

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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

Our country is going through one of the most decisive moments of its recent history, the implementation of the Peace Agreement with The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia— FARC guerrilla. The agreement ended more than five decades of armed conflict affecting thousands of civilians and combatants leaving scars in all dimensions of their corporeality. Of the demobilized people, 33% (3305 people out of 10015) indicated having some sort of disability because of the armed conflict. Unfortunately, treatment to people with disabilities in Colombia is still mark by discrimination and inequality. In this case, demobilized with disabilities face a double stigmatization: belonging to an illegal armed group and having war scars (physical, sensory, affective or psychic). Now we face huge challenges in the peacebuilding process. Some of them are the reintegration of ex-combatants (with and without disabilities) to communities, acknowledgement of our past, and consolidate a hopeful future together. To achieve this, it is necessary a gaze shift. We must learn to look differently to each other, beyond uniforms, alias, disabilities, or whatever, we have to recognize us as humans. And with this in common, we can work altogether to live in peace and prevent new violences. This project seeks to promote a new gaze, a new interaction way where we all can recognize our humanity. Using a dance methodology, we create movement encounters among FARC ex-combatants (primarily with disabilities) and representatives of the communities (leaders, businesspersons, and people with and without disabilities) to which they are being reintegrated. In order to facilitate the reconciliation process in the territory and endorse a different understanding of people with disabilities. Getting to know demobilized people from a different perspective, using body instead of words, it is possible to acknowledge their experience and promote empathy among one another, breaking down of stereotypes.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our beneficiaries are guerrilla ex-combatants with and without disabilities and key stakeholders and leaders from the communities of which the demobilized are now part.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

Our organization has been developing a pedagogy of the meeting in which, through movement and dance methodologies, we create inclusion spaces that privilege personal experience and encounter with others through corporal exploration, the recognition of individual capacities and empowerment in a process of collective creation. Having as foundation the Danceability methodology in harmony with other tools such as biodance, full attention and plastic and manual arts, a scenario of respectful exchange is built where what is found, is our human condition. Project beneficiaries meet, interact and explore their creativity together; express themselves through their bodies using an artistic language that facilitates this recognition of what they have in common, beyond their differences. We thus contribute to social transformation by promoting spaces where people from very different corners realize what they can built together when they open themselves to do so.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Pilot: I have started to implement the idea as a whole with a first set of real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Inclusive movimiento it’s a non-profit organization created in 2012 in the city of Bogotá , Colombia. Its principal porpoise is to consolidate the field of inclusive dance and expand this inclusive vision in different fields of arts trough education, research and creative practices that allow us to resignify the relations between the notions of the body, movement and disability.

Expertise in sector

  • 5-7 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

We as a country face a very challenging moment, every time a peace process failed we took at least another decade to try it again. As a creative organization, we feel a responsability about share our knowledge and methodologies to contribute to the peace process. We have proved the potential and how transformative is to exchange experiences having the body as the center, as enunciation place. We do believe it is possible to build bridges between people, by changing the way we move together.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

Peace is influenced by other illegal groups raised in arms and the political context (presidential elections). Planet has been impacted by hazardous activities led by illegal armed groups such as irregular minery, oil pipelines blasts and drugs traffic.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

1. Government institutions: (Office of the High Commisioner for Peace, Agency for the reincorporation and normalization, National Center of Historical Memory) Will promote the calls to the Encounters and some of their officials will participate themselves. By doing this, they will acknowledge demobilized and disabled people from a different perspective, more sensitive and emphatic. This wil also help them to build a new vision about the possibilities of reconciliation and how they can strenghten the reintegration, memory and peace policies. 2. Organizations of people in process of reincorporation, entrepreneurs, community leaders, population with disabilities and civil society in general. They will participate directly in the planning of the Encounters, call their interested members, promote the creation of a network of organizations and people linked to the disability, reintegration and reconciliation subjects.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

The most important strength of the people we want to work with, is that they are an example of change, resilience and renovation in our country. If host communities for ex-combatants achieve to live peacefully together can inspire another groups to leave weapons and continue their struggles using legal and political paths.

Geographic Focus

Communities with presence of demobilized people with disabilities.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

Our project is possible to fulfill within 24 months in five different communities.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No


Join the conversation:

Photo of One World In A Box

Dear Nabiye,

Great project! I was just wondering what the role is of Dance (historically, socially etc.) in Colombia. Sometimes, dance is not exactly seen as a 'masculine' form of expression, although I don't know how Colombia in general thinks about dance. It's interesting to know how you will convince your participants to join the therapy. In any case all the best with your project!


M. Ahmadi

Photo of Paulina Avellaneda

Hello M. Ahmadi and thanks for your comment!!
its true! and we will deal with this challenge.
However in Colombia people dance a lot, in rituals and celebrations that are part of the life. Since we are born, our celebrations always have music and dance and people learn and perform traditional dances since childhood. We have a rich diversity in traditional musics and dances so its part of our culture and in general we could say that we are very familiar with this dances.
But yes, we do have to use strategies to involve people in this other kind of dance (inclusive dance, from contemporary dance improvisation) that implies exploration of movement and other relationship with the body.
In the experience we have had in the past, people in regions are open to learn and receive new things, that give us an opportunity to share things and have reception in people. Then, the process have to start engaging them slowly, creating the confidence to participate with a group and place were they can feel safe and free to enjoy doing what we propose to do.
well hope its understandable my english and thanks again for making us think..

Photo of One World In A Box

Dear Paulina,

Thank you for your clarification! I appreciate it. No worries about your English, it's quite clear what you mean :)
I should've known because the Colombian football team is probably a prime example of that, I've always seen them dance at the World Cup games when they score! In any case, I wish you great success with your initiative, good luck!!


M. Ahmadi

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