Peacebuilding and Dance in Afro-Colombian Funerary Ritual

  • Sandra Milena Rios Oyola
  • Thania Acarón Rios
Part of the Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies book series (RCS)


Dance is often overlooked in the peacebuilding literature and this essay seeks to address this omission. Rios and Acarón focus on the role of dances which form part of Afro-Colombian funerary ritual performed in the annual commemoration of the massacre of Bojayá, Colombia. As Rios and Acarón demonstrate, these dances have a striking impact on both performers and spectators. The rituals embody painful memories and ongoing grievances and can be highly ambiguous practices. Nevertheless, they show how dance can both memoralize and protest, providing a shield that allows people to speak about violence and injustice in a non-confrontational manner. In this way, the body itself can become a “vehicle of resistance, expression, and visibility of the potential” for different kinds of conflict and personal transformation.


Dance Peacebuilding Colombia Afro-Colombian Ritual 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra Milena Rios Oyola
    • 1
  • Thania Acarón Rios
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut de sciences politiques Louvain-Europe, Université Catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  2. 2.Faculty of Creative Industries, Dance DepartmentUniversity of South WalesCardiffWales

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