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Art and displacement

Displacement is one of the main geopolitical characteristics of our time and so it constitutes one of the most important parameters of cultural development nowadays. Art has valued and taken advantage of this condition since before the economic and social politics of the countries in which it is a troublesome subject did. Starting from the observation of this phenomenon, Displaced gathers works by 16 Colombian artists that revolve around those physical and mental displacements inside and outside the country.

In the works of Franςois Bucher, Johanna Calle, Carolina Caicedo, María Elvira Escallón, Juan Fernando Herrán, Humberto Junca, Delcy Morelos, Oscar Muñoz, José Alejandro Restrepo, Doris Salcedo, Nadín Ospina, Miguel Ángel Rojas, Alberto Baraya, Milena Bonilla, Andrés Burbano and Wilson Díaz, one can perceive a repetitive issue characteristic of the development of contemporary art in Colombia: the question about place.

From the intimate vision of those artists that observe the condition and transformation of Colombia’s main cities (Bogotá, Medellin, Cali) -due to the movement of people from the countryside to the city-, to the vision of the artists that experience the condition of displacement themselves, living and working out of the country, the question is always the same: “Where is the place of ‘home’ to be located? In the place of birth (nateo), in the displaced cultural community into which the person is born, or in the nation-state in which the diasporic community is located?” 1

It is well know that nowadays migration is one of the most prominent phenomena in Colombia. Due to violence or just because of the necessity to find a better life (García Canclini defines it as migrating for bread or migration for peace), population movements between zones in the country or towards other countries have definitely changed the local culture and, in a less obvious way, the receiving ones.


Post-colonial studies – key concepts. p.93

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