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Conflict, peacebuilding, and transitional justice: Colombia and Ecuador

Thu, April 18, 10:00 to 11:30am, Hyatt Regency, Floor: Pacific Concourse (Level -1), Pacific K

Group Submission Type: Formal Panel Session


This panel presents three qualitative studies and one mixed-methods study regarding education and conflict in Colombia and Ecuador. Focusing on these two country cases, panelists will discuss the challenges and opportunities that formal and non-formal educational programs and materials offer for peacebuilding efforts in the Latin American context. Ranging from a macro-perspective to local-level perspectives, these four presentations will provide the audience with critical insights on transitional justice and education, history textbooks, refugee education, and citizenship formation.

The first presenter will delve into the national discourse of transitional justice as it relates to the education sector in Colombia as part of the broader peace process. This study explores issues in public discourse, policy-making, and program implementation that might hamper or enhance the holistic model of truth-seeking, justice, reparation, and non-repetition implemented by the Colombian government. The second presentation will focus on institutionalized knowledge and representations existing in history textbooks in Colombia, vis-a-vis oral histories in the Pacific Region of Colombia. This panelist will ponder the emotional entanglements derived from the narration of the armed conflict, and the influence this has on shaping individual and collective identities and memories. Drawing on experiences in a bordering country, the third study will examine the contributions that alternative educational programs may have in enforcing urban refugees’ resilience, inclusion, and integration in Quito, Ecuador. Addressing some of the key issues that this growing population faces in terms of xenophobia, discrimination, and harassment, the author will debate the role of non-formal education in mitigating these negative factors. The last panelist will present a case study of Colombian youth in Leticia, Amazonas. This presentation draws from a pilot study regarding students’ citizenship formation as in relation to the current peace process. The analysis of their localized experiences and understandings seeks to shed light on youth political engagement and participation under transitional times.

Far from offering concluding thoughts, this panel aims to continue expanding and strengthening the scholarship on education and conflict with critical perspectives that better inform policies, programs, academia, and actors in the field.

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