Gómez, Camilo Tamayo (2015) Memory, Recognition and Solidarity: the Victims of Eastern Antioquia as Communicative Citizens. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This doctoral research focuses on the relationship between civil society, collective action and the victims’ social movements of the Colombian armed conflict. It analyses the communicative and expressive dimensions of victims’ collective action as a mechanism to restore a sense of citizenship. It shows how collective belonging is constructed through processes of memory, recognition and solidarity in the midst of armed conflicts. It introduces the concept of communicative citizenship field in which emotions and affection act as a catalyst to generate collective actions for counterpublic groups in armed conflict societies transforming their victim status into an active citizenship condition. The case study of this research is Eastern Antioquia in Colombia, particularly the victims’ social movement of this Colombian region, and through a participative action research approach and developing a set of qualitative strategies, this research explores (together with the studied groups) the communicative and expressive resources they can access to obtain symbolic, cultural and political power and to act effectively within fragile public spheres. A key objective here is to understand what kind of citizen processes these collective communicative actions and strategies can open up within contexts of armed conflict and how these practices have been affecting the structure and shape of the regional and local public spheres of Eastern Antioquia in the last seventeen years. Furthermore, this doctoral research aims to present non-­‐official narratives about the Colombian armed conflict, using the victims’ perspective to understand the dynamics of contestation in the construction of memory, recognition and solidarity during the conflict, as well as in the claiming of public and conflict‐related spaces and the construction of victims’ collective identity as civilians before the cessation of violence. This study finally argues that the communicative citizenship field is part of a new research agenda to better understand, analyse and describe contemporary processes of collective action of victims’ social movements in armed conflicts and post-­‐armed conflict societies.

toral_Thesis_Camilo_Tamayo_Gomez_Final_version__October_2015.pdf - Accepted Version
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