Road to the Sea
The Road to the Sea encounter brings the project The Future of Memory to an end. This is a collaboration between our headquarters in Bogota, Buenos Aires, Lima, Montevideo, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago de Chile, and Sao Paulo. For its closing act, we have moved to Cali and Buenaventura to include "peripheral" perspectives; that is, those that are not at the center of attention, and therefore, at the center of power.
As an international institution, we promote dialogue between voices from Latin America and Germany, between artists and researchers, and, in this case, between people and collectives that carry out processes revolving around memory. We hope that Road to the Sea will allow them to converge in their reflections and to make their experiences visible before the public.
In Germany, after two authoritarian regimes and an incipient discourse around our colonialist history, we have had to deal with memory and oblivion and thus develop a culture of memory. In our experience, the official narrative of a nation never ceases to be built.
However, the way a country writes its past depends on the current political context. This relationship between power and memory entails the risk that victims and minorities are omitted or silenced by the dominant political agenda. Road to the Sea seeks to recognize the historical dimension of the Afro-Colombian population, to make the violence and abandonment that it has experienced visible, and at the same time to contribute to the empowerment of initiatives that fight for an equitable society, one that is inclusive and peaceful.
This is why we, as a cultural institution, see in our daily work not only the possibility, but also the responsibility for creating spaces for artistic reflection and poetic empowerment in Colombia and in all of Latin America around the question: how will we remember our past in the future?
This is a key question for the region and for Colombia in the context of a peace that, from our point of view, must be defended.
Wenzel Bilger, Director of the Goethe-Institut Bogota.