A Question of Socio-political Configuration: Artistic Practices in Community, Culture, and Public Spaces

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This investigation addresses the possibilities of socio-spatial intervention, generation, and political extent of reach of artistic practices in community (APC) in Latin America. At times articulated to collective action, APC suppose the transformation of some socio-microspatialities that can provoke alternative spatial configurations, and at the same time, infer in the forms of active citizenship that can incite processes of memory, remembrance, forgiving and forgetting.

For this purpose, the work seeks to identify the social processes and the actors involved in the mentioned spatial and social transformations based upon the analysis, study, and evaluation of three artistic interventions developed in Bogotá and Medellín: Ciudad Kennedy, Memoria y Realidad (2001-2003), Ex-situ/In-situ: Moravia (2008-2010), and Práctica Artística en La Grieta (2007-2011).

The inquiry emphasises the ways in which these creative practices activate forms of resistance within the complex violent Colombian context. It departs from the principle that on the one hand, these practices activate occupations and social organizations that create new spatialities in urban contexts, and, on the other, that they activate languages and affections for the construction of memory.

Through long-term duration projects, and the development of common spaces carried out with the participation of communities, in which bonds of trust are created, narrations of truth, citizenships, self-representations and memorial archives seem to be able to appear. The study aims at showing that these are process in which the social, cultural and public spaces are always fields of conflict. Where culture is understood as a practice, an event, and as a potential
of the imminent, and public space, is understood as a field constructed through a constant unequal social struggle.

This investigation problematizes and indicates the presence of social beliefs and artistic representations that have motivated a diversity of collective and creative practices in local neighbourly scales. Also identifies observable impacts generated in the participant communities through specific political devices. However, such actions develop in micro-scales, which implies that more than transformations they could be referred to as political-cultural adjustments.
These, even though on a small scale allow for questions about the potential of alternative sociospatial configurations. Naming the world differently, reinventing realities, imagining possibilities to think and construct our collective and individual selves different.

Date of Award1 Oct 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorLuis Rebaza-Soraluz (Supervisor) & Felipe Botelho Correa (Supervisor)

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