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Memories From The Margins

plural memories that challenge top down narratives on conflict in Colombia


MEMPAZ is the name we created when we merged MEMories and PAZ, meaning Peace in Spanish. The full name is Bringing Memories in from the Margins: Inclusive Transitional Justice and Creative Memory Processes for Reconciliation in Colombia. 

It is a collaboration between grassroots activists in Colombia working in some of the most geographically- and socially-marginalized parts of Colombia, including the Bajo Cauca Antioqueño, Caquetá, and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. We have worked with theatre, music, poetry, photography, film, cookery and conversation, using human creativity to confront and work through the horrors of warfare and its impact on millions of Colombians.

On this website you can explore the creative memory work that we created together. There the photographs and films produced by the Arhuaco Communications Collective, the improvised theatre productions made by the Ruta Pacífica, the teaching guides and podcasts developed by Embrace Dialogue, the songs written and recorded by MUMIDAVI and the Colombian Network of Memory sites, as well as many photographs of the participants in action. In addition to these wonderful sources attesting to the persistence, dedication and creativity of Colombians working through the legacy of half-a-century of armed conflict, we have made several films of interviews and highlights which you can watch to learn more about each individual partner. In the Bringing memories together section, you can see what happened when all the partners came together, in Pueblo Bello in Cesar province in 2018, in Cali in 2022, and in Bristol, England in 2023.

MEMPAZ had two university bases: at the Institute of Political Studies and International Relations (IEPRI) at the National University of Colombia in Bogotá, and in the School of Modern Languages at the University of Bristol in England. The team of researchers has worked across the disciplines of history, education, area studies, politics, media studies, and feminism. The partnerships at the core of the project were based on existing and well-established relationships, including with the Colombian National Library and the Colombian Network of Memory Sites. We fed our work into the Colombian Truth Commission.

MEMPAZ received funding between 2018 and 2023 from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Newton Fund, Colombia’s Ministry of Science and Technology (AH/R013659/1 and AH/V012436/1), Research England and United Kingdom Research and Innovation through Overseas Development Assistance. We are all very grateful for this financial support, which enabled us to produce all the materials preserved on this website.

The best way to get in contact with us is at

Principal Investigator in England:
Matthew Brown at the University of Bristol
Principal Investigator in Colombia:
Fabio López de la Roche at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Julia Paulson and Maria-Teresa Pinto Ocampo
Research Associates:

Andrei Gomez-Suarez, Goya Wilson and Diana Valencia Duarte
Research support:
Maca Gomez Gutierrez, Mary Ryder, Laura Hankin, Carolina Valladares and Martín Suarez and everyone at the partner organizations whose work is shared here

This has been exhausting but worthwhile! Matthew Brown