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Doris Salcedo and Mario Opazo

Heard on The Street
Monuments to Peace by Doris Salcedo and Mario Opazo
Ministry of Culture of Colombia


Bogotá, Colombia

In recent days the government of Colombia selected artists Doris Salcedo and Mario Opazo for the creation of Monuments to honor Peace in Colombia.

As part of the 2016 peace agreement signed in Colombia by the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP), it was stipulated that part of the weaponry laid down by the FARC-EP would be used to create three monuments, one in Cuba, a second one in the sculpture garden of the United Nations in New York, and a third one in Bogota.

Colombian artist Doris Salcedo was selected by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos because of her trajectory and artistic work centered on violence and the victims of violence in Colombia. She was entrusted with the sculpture in Bogota that will be titled Fragmentos (Fragments). Created on the floor, the work is expected to be completed in August of this year.

On the other hand, for the Monument to Peace at the UN, the Colombian Ministry of Culture organized a call that ended on April 19. The selection of the winner was entrusted to a jury formed by visual artist Clemencia Echeverri, curator and art critic José Ignacio Roca, and film director, writer and poet Lisandro Duque. They selected Chilean artist Mario Opazo as the winner of the open call.  His Monument to Peace will be fashioned from the melted armament surrendered by the FARC-EP and displayed at the Unite Nations in New York City, according to a statement by President Juan Manuel Santos during a roundtable organized in Cali to offer an assessment of the Ministry of Culture's agenda and performance.

Juan Manuel Santos declared that Mario Opazo won with a proposal titled Kusikawsay, which in Quechuan means "peaceful and happy life." Santos added, "Congratulations to Mario for this very important work. Thank you for supporting peace in Colombia."

The proposal by Mario Opazo is based on the appropriation of an indigenous canoe as an attempt to bring the past, its wisdom and symbolism, into the present; through an element that sails across the rivers of the Colombian territory and whose fragile construction makes it a relevant witness and protagonist of progress that entails a journey to a new life.

The location and characteristics of the Monument to Peace in Havana, Cuba, are still being worked out. Havana was the city where the peace negotiations took place. 




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