N° 149
February 2017
5_terre des hommes Street procession of Videos y Rollos in the Bosa district in Bogotà. Videos y Rollos

Many peace initiatives in Colombia work on artistic and creative approaches to combat violence in the cities. Good examples are the youth organizations Asociación juvenil Videos y Rollos in the Bosa district in Bogotá and Barrios del Mundo in the Chapinero district. They offer young people courses in music, drama, video-making and photography that are not just about art, but also about giving the young people new development prospects. This is because, as well as learning a range of techniques, the focus is always on discussing certain issues. The young people learn to share ideas and opinions as well as to accept different points of view.

Art provides the young people with the opportunity to express their opinions, feelings, and hardships in relation to social and everyday issues in a variety of different ways. The process is always aimed at encouraging them to be critical and expressive. It is important to give young people a variety of ways to express themselves, as those who cannot express themselves will also not be understood. Those who are not understood will not be listened to. And those who are never listened to will not be included, which in turn leads to aggression and violence.

Furthermore, art projects like these encourage the young people to play an active role in contributing to their district. A culture festival in the area is the annual highlight. Through the joint activities, the young people not only experience mutual acceptance, but also a certain respect, which is also accompanied by increased self-confidence and stronger social ties.

terre des hommes schweiz supports projects that prevent violence with young people in areas such as Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, and Cauca.