Catalina Delgado Rojas

State-Sponsored Symbolic Reparations.
Creation and development of official memorialization spaces in Colombia.


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


This research aims to explore how symbolic reparations museums and memorial evolve in transitional societies. Due to their potential to articulate collective memories and promote non-recurrence, they have become recurrent symbolic reparation projects. Nevertheless, due to their complementary role in the reparation system and the vague conceptualization of the term, there are aspects that have yet to be understood. Additionally, as empirical research has demonstrated, the outcome and impact of symbolic reparations are influenced by multiple variables of the context where they are developed. These factors can cause intended and unintended repercussions in the communities they are trying to repair.

The aim of this thesis is to explore the creation and development of a state-sponsored symbolic reparation museum and a state-sponsored memorial to the victims of the internal conflict in Colombia. The research proposes a new approach to study symbolic reparations and understand how the process of creation and development of these projects influenced the representation of memories and fulfilment of symbolic reparation aims. The study adopted a qualitative case study approach to investigate the creation and development of the Museum of Memory of Colombia resulting from the Law of victims 1448 (2011) and Fragments the memorial to the victims inaugurated after the Peace Agreement signed between the Colombian government and the FARC-EP ex-guerrilla in 2016.

The selection of a case study methodology and complexity informed methods enabled understanding the influence of the local context in the creation and operationalization of the museum and the memorial. The relational analysis of the data permitted understanding the expectations of actors’ participation according to public policy documents and explaining the roles of artists, cultural institutions, victims’ organizations and transitional justice institutions. Lastly, the interviews with key stakeholders in the project permitted to outline possible contributions of these spaces during transitional periods.


Colombian doctoral researcher in Museology. I hold an MA in Social Anthropology from the University of the Andes and an MA in Museology and Heritage Management from the National University of Colombia. In the academic field, I developed studies on women in sports; public art heritage in Colombia; and gender approach in Latin American museums. I also worked as an independent researcher in themes related to conflict, human rights education, and systematization of experiences.

As a cultural manager, I have worked in museum education, provenance archives, curating exhibitions and cultural heritage projects. Between 2018 and 2019, I worked in Fragments, the first memorial inaugurated after the Peace Agreement in Colombia. This experience became the basis of my research. I currently work as a Reslife advisor, Sporticipate coordinator and research administrator in the project Comics and Race in Latin America.

Publications and other outputs


  • 23/06/2023. Memory Studies Association/ Gatekeepers of Art and Memory: roles of cultural institutions in symbolic reparations memorials
  • 30/03/2023. Society for Latin American Studies / State-sponsored memorial spaces during transition
  • 23/06/2022. Gender Work and Organizations, Stream 6 / Understanding network formation of state-sponsored symbolic reparations through public policy documents.
  • 10/06/2022. CLACS symposium in Latin American and Caribbean studies / System Formation and Actors’ Participation in a State-Sponsored Symbolic Reparation Memorial.
  • 10/04/2022.Methodological Discontents: Creative approaches to inclusive, decolonising and interdisciplinary methods in times of crises / Avoiding the surrogate experience during your doctoral journey.
  • 12/09/2021.University of Brighton/MECCSA: about space/ Characteristic of symbolic reparation spaces
  • 09/06/2021. University of Westminster round table / Women’s Experiences of Conflict Gender, Violence, and Representation at the National Museum of Colombia
  • 14/05/2021.University of Manchester CLACS/ Latin American studies in the UK symposium/Complexity framework as methodology to analyse symbolic reparations.
  • 10/04/2021. University of Liverpool/ Victims Memory and representation / Fragments: a counter-monument to the victims of Colombian Conflict.


  • Peate, A., Delgado-Rojas, C. and Posada-Villada, P. (2022) ‘Fragmentos (2018): The Counter-Monument Addressing Colombia’s Armed Conflict and Sexual Violence Against Women’, Museological Review, 26, pp. 10–16. Link to the article
  • Las Socias: A Feminist Video Game for Peacebuilding. 2022. The Magazine of the Institute for Cultural Practices. Link to the article
  • Complex fragments of a state-sponsored memorial during Colombia’s mass protests. 2021. The Magazine of the Institute for Cultural Practices. Link to the article.
  • Museums and community support during transitional periods. 2019. The Magazine of the Institute for Cultural Practices. Link to the article.
  • Gender perspectives to Conceptual Art in Colombia. Museum of Modern Art. 2018. Link to the article.
  • Virtual Heritage and Digital Humanities: debates and areas of common ground Universidad de los Andes. 2017. Link to the article.
  • The Pedalling Museum. Universidad de Costa Rica. 2014. Link to the project.
  • Regulation, representation and experience of the female athletic body: Three ways of seeing women on the ring. 2014. Link to the article.

Cultural projects

  • Community: Gente de Museos: cuidado y autocuidado museológico en tiempos de pandemia..2020. Link to the project.
  • Video: Gender approach in Latin American Museums. Inclusive Museum Conference. 2018. Link to the project.
  • Guide: The Pedalling Museum. Online heritage project about the monuments of 26th Street in Bogotá. 2014. Link to the project.
  • Exhibition: Op de Fiets: the story of how Holland became a cycling nation. Exhibition at Bogota’s International Book Fair. Link to the project.



Catalina Delgado Rojas
Portrait, by José Luis Cote, crayon diluted in biche, 2023