Words are living memories, represent our experience, and shaping our identity create the sense of the real and symbolic universe in which we live.
In the midst of armed conflict, words acquire new meanings: they change from being a mere convention of language to becoming the expression form of pain, resistance and the attempts of rebuild hope of both victims and communities affected by violence.
The phenomenon of forced displacement, in addition to having caused the separation of almost seven million people from their homes and their territories in Colombia, has also caused the displacement of the senses of words, in an attempt to name an unmentionable loss. “Home” no longer has it meaning for those who have lost theirs and “pathway” no longer means the same for the one that has had to flee definitively, leaving behind its territory, its family and its roots.
The victim loss represented in the ruptures and transformations of language, demands actions of recognition, healing and reparation, through attempts to reaffirm or construct new identities based on the word and the narratives of lived experiences.
That is why the House of Memory Museum and the Caro and Cuervo Institute, in partnership with the Victim Assistance Program of Medellin City Hall, decided to promote the reconstruction of community ties and the re-appropriation of the identity of communities and victims affected by forced displacement in the city.
As a result of this process, this exhibition displays the way that three communities, victims of mass intra – urban forced displacement in San Cristobal, and victims of displacement belonging to the Ave Fénix, Women Mandala and Medellin Municipal roundtable for Victims participation, communicate a new meaning to the words from their experience, and in the exercise of recovery the displacement narratives, open the doors to the construction or the reaffirmation of their individual or collective identities.