Oral History Projects
Oral History Laboratory, Colombia
From our blog, we will begin to build the project website of the Oral History Laboratory’s Historalab, to be based in Colombia. We will shortly be publishing detailed information about how the proposal is being managed and how to form links with it. The intuitive is open to researchers from the fields of social sciences and humanities, as well as cultural activists of ethnic and other social communities that are interested in using the methodological tools of oral history. We are interested in your opinions and expressions of interest in the project, so we would invite you to please email us at the address given below in order for us to add you to the mailing list and to keep you updated on the progress of this initiative. We would also appreciate it if you would help us disseminate this idea amongst other interested people. The project promotion is being headed by the anthropologist Mariano Useche Losada (Member of the International Oral History Association – IOHA: http://www.iohanet.org/index.html).
Project ‘Camilo Torres Lives!’
“I am ready to continue the revolution until the final
consequences… I want to go forward and if necessary
suffer the same fate of those who went before, corrosion;
but I would love it if I came to die,
this luck would not be in vain for the revolution…
Where will the relief be?”
- Camilo Torres Restrepo
The United Collective Front – Independent Research (CFU) is a space of articulation for students, scholars, filmmakers and popular activists, that is supported by intellectuals, artists, research centres, religious and socio-political movements. They are carrying out a project which seeks to recover and update the life, thoughts and testimonies of the priest, sociologist and revolutionary Colombian Camilo Torres Restrepo.
It was formed by Colombians, Argentines, Peruvians, Chileans and Canadians and has its central bases in the cities of Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Montreal (Canada). We have been challenged by the memory of Camilo, pioneer of Liberation Theology (which later encouraged thousands of believers in Latin America to make decisions in favour of the common people), forerunner of transformative activist research (called Participatory Action Research) and creator of joint spaces of political articulation beyond traditional activism that seeks unity as a vital element. This was a commitment by special tasks, and the love of neighbours was seen as a generous and central element in the transformation exercise (through the People’s United Front).
The project has five areas of work:
- Creating a Centre for Virtual Documentation (CDV) which would consist in building a web page for the collection of as much documentary information that exists on Camilo Torres Restrepo. For this process of research, we have the support, advice and supervision of the ‘Other Memories’ Association, directed by the historian Laura Benadiba. This will be regarding the stocktaking and management of the oral sources that we are building, and will be centred on the protocols and files of these sources.
- Establishing and promoting a bibliography which would permit us to republish books by and about Camilo, that would allow us to visualise his life, his thoughts and his testimonies. As a part of this process, last year we published the book “Camilo Torres: An Effective Love” in Buenos Aires, an anthology of writings.
- The promotion of spaces for debates, reflection and discussion about Camilo’s life, thoughts and testimonies, with regard to present realities. This space will privilege a free lecture called “Camilo Torres Restrepo” which continues the experience of the “Camilo Torres” Latin American Conference which has been developing in Cuba since the early 70s, in order to review the relationship between Christianity and political engagement.
- Tracing various physical objects that belonged to Camilo Torres Restrepo in order to develop a Memory Gallery (GM-CTR) which would be an interactive travelling display.
- Support for multiple artistic and filmmaking initiatives that would allow us to rescue the life and testimonies of Camilo Torres, seen through new aesthetics and sensitivities.
Similarly, a member of the Collective is in the process of recording and producing a video documentary called “The Gospel of Camilo Torres”. In the same way, we support and encourage other video experiences that focus on the themes of Camilo Torres, Liberation Theology and Christian commitment.
At present, the project is at the stage of surveying information, which includes tracing and digitizing documents and recording the testimonies of people who knew or were inspired by Camilo, as well as the pre-production of the tribute CD and the video documentary. We also seek financial support in order to progress further with the project.
Members: Lorena López Guzmán (Historian, Colombia), Diego Briceño-Orduz (Filmmaker, Colombia), Juan Carlos Laserna (Historian, Peru), Eduardo Nachman (Socio-Political Activist, Son of a ‘Missing Person’, Argentina), Marcelo Molano Jimeno (Filmmaker, Colombia), Joaquin Ugarte (Socio-Political Activist, Chile), Andrés Segura (Cultural Manager, Colombia), Myriam Cloutier (Journalist and Documentary maker, Canada), Nicolás Herrera Farfán (Psychologist, Colombia).
On Facebook: United Collective Front