This year’s Women and War festival will include a day dedicated to Colombian women migrants, many of whom left the country during more than fifty years of conflict.
The festival opens with Colombia Day, which is being organised by the Truth, Memory and Reconciliation Commission of Colombian Women in the Diaspora (TMRC) – an initiative supported by Conciliation Resources. The TMRC brings together women in London and Barcelona, to share their stories and memories of conflict and migration, and to claim a voice in Colombia’s peace process. In November 2016, an historic peace agreement was signed between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to end one of the world’s longest conflicts.
Colombia Day, which takes place on 4 July, will be an opportunity to meet with some of the inspirational members of the TMRC and learn from their experiences as conflict survivors, migrants, community leaders and peacebuilders. Celebrating the resilience of the women and their power to be role models, the day will include a photography exhibition, Imagine Peace, which features portraits and accounts of different members of the TMRC, as well as poetry, a musical performance and a screening of Breaking the Silence – a short documentary film about the TMRC’s work.
One of the highlights of the festival will be a monologue presented by renowned Colombian actress Alejandro Borrero. The monologue tells the story of Ana Victoria Bastidas, a member of the TMRC who was kidnapped in Colombia by armed traffickers and subsequently migrated to the UK. A few days prior to the festival, Ana Victoria will be ordained the first female Colombian Anglican priest.
Colombia Day is part of the month-long Women and War: Exodus festival, which explores the impact of war on women and the roads they take to rebuild their lives. All festival events will take place at Streatham Hill Theatre in London.