Theory — Mar 10, 2019

museum ticket + 3 EU
Teijin Auditorium
Mar 10, 2019, 11 am until 1 pm
Mar 10, 2019, 2 pm until 4 pm
Main language
*ticket is valid for both the morning and afternoon session.
  • Fernando Arias, 'Re:Bandera' (2016). Selection of 26 flags
    Fernando Arias, 'Re:Bandera' (2016). Selection of 26 flags
  • Laura Huertas Millán, 'Aequador' (2012).
    Laura Huertas Millán, 'Aequador' (2012).
  • Oscar Muñoz, 'Narcisos' (1995-2011).
    Oscar Muñoz, 'Narcisos' (1995-2011).


Social and political transitions in Colombia
Artist panel: Art and social conflict in Colombia

On the occasion of the exhibition Here/Now curated by Carolina Ponce de León at Framer Framed and het Vijfde Seizoen in Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum hosts a symposium examining artist responses to the social and political climate in Colombia, where an armed conflict has taken place over the past 60 years.

The Here/Now symposium seeks to draw attention to the country’s social and political transitions. On the one hand these have been impacted by a signing of a peace agreement between the State and the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) in December 2016, the largest and oldest insurgent group, and on the other by the struggle to implement a peace process faced with active opposition of extreme political forces trying to take control of the void left by the departure of the rebel troops.

Miguel Ángel Rojas, David, 2017.

These issues are inevitably connected to a worldwide crisis marked by growing numbers of refugees, local and international migrations, environmental and natural catastrophes, among many other forms of social and economic inequities. At a time when fear seems to rule, there is great validity in turning towards art in taking a closer look at the processes, experiments, and research by artists as they tackle, make sense of and respond to (the struggles of) everyday lived realities.

Jesús Abad Colorad, Machuca, Segovia, Antioquia, Colombia, 1998.

This debate aims to address questions such as: What does it mean for an artist to practice art in times of armed conflict? How are artists engaged with the current transition from armed conflict to peace in the context of Colombia? Can an artwork stand independently from its surroundings? Can social reality and the artist’s imagination be separated?

The debate will also seek to frame local questions into the larger framework of art and social engagement, for example:

  • What are the different interpretations of ‘engaged’ art?
  • How do artists approach the experience of fear?
  • Can art function as the catalyst of effective social change?
  • What is the role of the researcher and curator in this context?


Carolina Ponce de León, Here/Now curator

Carolina Ponce de León, an independent curator based in Bogotá, Colombia, has served as the Visual Arts Advisor at the Ministry of Culture in Colombia; director of Visual Arts at the Banco de la República, Bogotá; curator of the Museo del Barrio in New York; and Artistic Director of the Galería de la Raza in San Francisco, California.  

Carolina Ponce de León will present an introduction to the content of Here/Now and an explanation of how Colombians artists relate to the above-mentioned topics during the conflict of 61 years.

Stephen Ferry / Ojo Rojo Fábrica Visual, curator of documentary photography component, with Carolina Ponce de León

Stephen Ferry, a non-fiction photographer and journalist, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA and based in Bogotá since 1999, has traveled since the late 1980s to dozens of countries, covering social and political change, human rights, and the environment. He has contributed to the New York Times, GEO, TIME, National Geographic and many other publications. He also works as a visual investigator with Human Rights Watch.

 Stephen Ferry will present an introduction to the conflict in Colombia and an explanation of the role of photojournalism by presenting and explaining his book Violentology: A Manual of the Armed Conflict in Colombia, an investigation he carried out over a twelve-year period.


morning session

Presentation of Here/Now, followed by short lecture on 'Art and the armed conflict in Colombia' by Carolina Ponce de León
11.40AM- 12AM
'Violentology: A Manual of the Armed Conflict in Colombia' by Stephen Ferry

afternoon session

Artist panel: 'Here/Now: Art in Colombia in times of social conflict' with artists: Andrea Acosta, Stephen Ferry, Luis Fernando Roldán and Ana María Rueda. Moderator: Carolina Ponce de León


The debate program for Here-Now intends to inspire its visitors and urge them to reflect on the position of the artist and of themselves, within the context of subjects like transition, peace, and freedom. The Here/Now program was initiated by Foundation What art can do in collaboration with Framer Framed.