Alejandro Jaramillo

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

New York U.

Grant number

Gr. 10608

Approve Date

September 29, 2023

Project Title

Jaramillo, Alejandro (New York U.) "Peace for Sale: The Mutual Lives of History and Commodities in Transitional Colombia"

My research addresses the growth of “memory entrepreneurship” and the proliferation of “peace commodities” in the wake of the landmark 2016 Colombian peace agreements with the FARC-EP guerrilla. Broadly speaking, I inquire into the relationship between the moral imperative of Transitional Justice processes to remember and how that gamut of memory finds material life in consumer products in the wake of violence. In some contrast to classic tenets of peace studies, I begin with illustrations of the commercialization of peace and conflict. I then sketch the material and cultural premises undergirding Colombia’s state-sanctioned “historical memory” and the contradictions, erasures, or obfuscations that surface with respect to entrepreneurship and consumption. I probe the political economy driving Colombia’s commodified revitalization of memory politics and explore how victim and ex-combatant entrepreneurs, emboldened by foreign aid, often challenge and discredit historical narratives sanctioned by the state. In three key questions, I ask: How are supermarket aisles and other sites of consumption reanimating political identities and histories? Whose memories and which historical narratives are articulated—and sold—by memory entrepreneurs? How might this help us amplify our understandings of multilateral violence and its aftermaths?