The Road to Peace: Lessons from Colombia

31 January 2019, 2.00 PM - 31 January 2019, 6.00 PM

Dr Andrei Gomez-Suarez and Gwen Burnyeat

OA1 Priory Rd Complex

The GIC is hosting a two-part interdisciplinary event, in association with the Newton Fund/ AHRC Colciencias Memories from the Margins and the GW4 Transformative History Education projects, focused on peace in Colombia. Colombia is undergoing an intense transformation towards peace after 50 years of armed conflict. The last ten years, in particular, have seen great stabilisation in a country more traditionally known for the negative stereotypes of drugs, violence and kidnappings. Drawing on the experience of other countries, including Ireland and South Africa, Colombia has forged its own path with respect to what peace looks like. Now, two years after the government signed a peace agreement with one of the main armed groups - the FARC - this event looks at what we can learn from the process so far, and how society can contribute to realising the transformation. With lessons that extend beyond Colombia, we welcome anyone interested in finding out more or bringing the discussion to their own contexts.

Date31st January 2019

Time: 1400-1800 (this event runs in 2 parts)

Film screening: 1400-1530

Panel discussion: 1600-1800

Venue0A1, Priory Rd Complex

The event will be followed by a wine reception.

Film screening followed by Q&A (1400-1530)

Chocolate de Paz (Chocolate of Peace) - an award-winning ethnographic documentary by Gwen Burnyeat and Pablo Mejía Trujillo about the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, Colombia.

Chocolate of Peace depicts the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó’s experiences of resistance, via a journey through their processes of organic chocolate production. From the seed to the product, the cacao is the narrative thread that takes us through the Community’s stories of violence and resilience, and their fight to remain neutral in the face of the Colombian armed conflict. This film offers a panorama of hope, proof that despite great difficulties it is possible to sow peace through human and economic relationships. It invites us to rethink our relationship with food, to value the efforts of those who produce it, and to build bridges between the victims of the armed conflict and other sectors of global civil society.

If you would like to watch a trailer of the film, please visit:

Panel discussion (1600-1800)

Drawing on the themes of ‘Chocolate de Paz’, the panel will look at the innovations in the peace process, how it has unfolded and what can be learnt about the roles of different actors in society on the road to peace.

The final panel of speakers will be announced in January, but we are delighted to confirm as panellists, our colleagues from UCL: Dr Andrei Gomez-Suarez and Gwen Burnyeat. 

Contact information

Laura Hankin (

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