Catalina Delgado Rojas

State-sponsored symbolic reparations in an ongoing conflict society

The museum of memory resulting from the Law of Victims (2011) and the monument to the victims inaugurated after the Peace Agreement (2016) in Colombia


  • Dr Jenna Ashton
  • Dr Kostas Arvanitis
  • Prof Lucia Sa


Due to the potential of memorial museums and monuments to articulate collective memory and promote non-recurrence, they have become a crucial symbolic reparation measure in transitional societies. Nevertheless, due to their complementary role in the reparation system and the absence of definitions and guidelines, there are various aspects of symbolic reparations that have yet to be understood. The representation of collective memory, the involvement of victims and the evaluation of these projects are key challenges highlighted by academics.

Additionally, as empirical research has demonstrated, the outcome of these projects is influenced by multiple variables of the specific context where they are developed. Also, symbolic reparation projects can have unintended consequences in the communities they are trying to repair. Hence, adopting a more complex approach that prioritizes the context in which these projects take place and the role of actors in their development can introduce new insights to the comprehension of symbolic reparations.

This research aims to explore how museums and memorials conceived as a symbolic reparation adapt to contribute to context-specific transitional goals. The study will focus on the Museum of Memory resulting from the transitional legislation Law 1448 (2011) and the monument to the victims inaugurated after peace agreement signed between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP ex-guerrilla (2016) in Bogotá. The results of this research will attempt to contribute towards the development of a comprehensive framework regarding the creation of these projects as part of public policy and the participation of actors in adapting symbolic reparation to context-specific scenarios while navigating political uncertainty. 


I hold a BA in Political Science and a master's degree in Social Anthropology from the University of the Andes. I  graduated with an MA in Museology and Heritage Management at the National University of Colombia.   

As a researcher, I have conducted studies on women and anthropology of the body; historic and public art heritage in Colombia; and gender approach in Latin American museums. My first master’s dissertation approached the different perspectives to research the female athletic body when participating in traditionally conceived masculine sports. My second thesis on the Gender Approach in Museums: a comparative study between Mexico and Colombia explored the gender approach strategies or the lack of it in cultural institutions. 

As an independent cultural entrepreneur, I have worked in museums such as the National Museum of Colombia developing educational workshops or curating exhibitions such as Op de fiest at the International Book Fair in Bogota. I have also endeavour community heritage projects like The Pedaling Museum on 26 street. 

In 2018, I worked on the assortment of The Museum of Modern Art's Donation Archive. The following year, I was part of the education and public activities team in Colombia's first counter-monument conceived by Colombian artist Doris Salcedo as a result of the peace agreement with the FARC guerrilla group. During 2020 I collaborated in the creation of the virtual network Gente de Museos: cuidado y autocuidado museológico en tiempos de pandemia. 

Publications and other outputs


  • “Museums and community support during transitional periods”. 2019. Collaboration to The Magazine of the Institute for Cultural Practices. Link to the project
  • Miradas al arte conceptual en Colombia. Museum of Modern Art. 2018. Commissioned by the Museum to collaborate with an interview on Gender perspectives to Conceptual Art in Colombia. Link to the project.
  • Observatorio del patrimonio cultural. Universidad de los Andes. 2017. Academic paper. “Virtual Heritage and Digital Humanities: debates and areas of common ground”. Link to the project. 
  • Revista de Arquitectura. Universidad de Costa Rica. 2014. Academic paper. “Pedalling Museum Review”. Link to the project. 
  • Revista de Antropología. Universidad de Costa Rica. 2014. Academic paper. “Regulation, representation and experience of the female athletic body: Three ways of seeing women on the ring”. Link to the project.

Cultural projects

  • Gente de Museos: cuidado y autocuidado museológico en tiempos de pandemia. Latin American virtual network of museum practitioners and enthusiasts. Link to the project.
  • Gender approach in Latin American MuseumsInclusive Museum Conference. 2018. Virtual Lighting Talk. Link to the project.
  • The Pedalling Museum. Government Grant Winning proposal 2014. An Online heritage project about the monuments of 26th Street in Bogotá. Link to the project.
  • Op de Fiets: the story of how Holland became a cycling nation. 2016. Curator. Bogota’s International Book Fair. Link to the project.