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The European Association of History Educators (EUROCLIO) chose Colombia to participate on the project “Dealing with the Past in History Education”. The Project started on February 2016 and will end on April 2017 with  the aim of enabling the exchange of experiences between education leaders from 8 different nationalities and from countries that are working towards education in history and historical memory.

Representatives from Bosnia Herzegovina and India came to Bogota from March 12th to March 16th. They visited the National Center for Historical Memory as well as other institutions, such as, public and private schools, the Ministry of Education and the Center of Memory, Peace and Reconciliation.

Meena Megha Malhotra from India, is one of the core members of the project. She is an artist and works directing the Peace Work Project of the Seagull Foundation. They promote social change through artistic expressions and workshops with children all over India. For her, one of the great challenges in her country is the “culture of silence” regarding the learning about the past, the recent conflicts in certain regions, and the ethnic and inter-caste conflicts.

Senada Jusic is a historian and history teacher from Bosnia Herzegovina. She works with EUROCLIO in her country and is working to rebuild the History syllabus for schools in Sarajevo. In Bosnia, the Inter-ethnic conflicts related to the internal armed conflict -prior to the independence from Yugoslavia-, have not been well managed. The stereotypes inside the country are growing a culture of indifference among the young people, who want to leave to other European countries rather than staying and working for the wellbeing of their own people.

The National Center for Historical Memory interviewed them, and here are their answers:

Why did you choose Colombia?

Meena: I must confess not having too much knowledge about your education system or the internal conflict, but I’ve heard from very solid references, people who worked with history, that there’s a lot of very valuable work happening here. In terms of incorporating the difficult past into schools and education. That was the trigger or interest for me, coming from where I do, where we don’t look at this at all.

Senada: For me it was the opposite. I knew a lot about conflict history in Colombia, guerrillas, internal conflict, kidnapping, raping. I knew about this, but I did not know anything about the education part, or the civil activism at all. But when I heard country per country, that here there is a connection between government and non-government organizations, even if it is from a very long level, I wanted to see how it works. Because one of the biggest issues for Bosnia Herzegovina is that we don’t have that connection. Because we have certain influence over certain people, but the government has influenced other part of the people. So combining those two powers and influences and knowledge, we would make great change. So that was my motivation to come here.

Did you confirm those ideas after your visit?

Meena: Absolutely. From what we have seen in the presentations, we are absolutely impressed by the work that’s going on. Very analytical and well planned.

Senada: I totally agree, I loved to see the realities of people who worked on the field who are making change. Besides, they are not in some kind of denial, they are very realistic about their work, what they can and cannot do at the moment.

Meena, what is the danger in the silence culture that you mentioned in your presentation?

The danger is that mindset. People are not talking about certain things, and the conditions and society are such that you are fixing mindsets and those mindsets are actually fuelling into divide. And divide is never good, is very dangerous. Is like a ticking bomb, you don’t know when or what’s going to be the trigger for it to explode and to become a conflict.

Senada, why is it important to talk about the past in a positive way, and not just in a negative way?

When you have a country that is struggling with economy, bad jobs, corruption, big number of immigration to other countries, unemployment, there is a very negative smell in the air. So people always talk about just negative stuff. But when you start taking out into light about what’s positive, what you can make or what you have, then you inspire hope for the future, but also encourage people to act more, to work more. For example, if you explain to new generations that their work in Bosnia is as good as their work in Germany, they can begin to see their future in their own country. Because of that negative influence for many years they just lose hope, they leave to other countries. But if they stay and work more, maybe we can transform society, in general.

For both, it is easy to lose hope when you don’t see change happening as fast as you would like to. Sometimes we feel that in Colombia after such a long armed conflict. In your own experiences, how do you keep on working without becoming desperate?

Meena: A big difference is that when it becomes a national agenda then the entire population outcomes become very different. Which is how I see it is in the case of Colombia. Where there are very strategic decisions that were taken for the peace building process, out in the public sphere. Whereas, in our case, it doesn’t exist. Is more of working with the intangible. When you work with the intangible, the responses are very different from what your expectations are. You want to see change in your lifetime, but you can’t afford to be impatient because your work is such, that is not going to happen overnight. But you cannot lose hope because it is worth it: peace and well-being for everybody. And, at least for now, you have some parts of the national institutions working towards it.

Senada: As a child I was taught that every day you had to do something nice, something beautiful. That is one thing; the other is to believe that there is something good in every human being. And that this, will empower them towards making them part of social change. You need to have that believe, otherwise there is no sense in doing anything.

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Project by Colombian firm MGP Arquitectura & Urbanismo and Estudio Entresitio from Spain wins historic international competition for the architectural design of Colombia's National Museum of Memory.

The International Competition for the Design of Colombia's National Museum of Memory, organised by the National Centre for Historical Memory, which became one of the largest architectural competitions ever held in Colombia, reached its final stage this week. The independent five-member jury revealed the winning design. The concept proposes an engaging interior journey where visitors will find a variety of paths, from the spacious exhibition rooms to the wide-open terraces. The rooftop, intended as a mountainous microcosm, allows the visitors to feel the city’s energy and enjoy the beauty of Bogota's Andean landscape. The interconnected terraces give the opportunity to gather, read, talk and even find moments of silence for reflection and remembrance. The jury highlighted that although it is a solid volume, the architects successfully accomplished a transparent and highly permeable ground-floor that integrates the pre-existing sculpture and nearby settings.

Jury Decision

The jury determined "Between the Earth and the Sky" as the winning design by unanimous decision. The jury evaluation is available on the NCHM website (only available in Spanish). Besides the top three projects, the juries selected three proposals for honourable mentions.

1st Prize: MGP Arquitectura & Urbanismo and Estudio Entresitio (Colombia & Spain) Code JQ3

Architects Felipe González Pacheco and María Hurtado de Mendoza

2nd Prize: Taller Síntesis (Medellin-Colombia) Code PB7

Architects Farhid Maya, David Cuartas and Lucas Serna

3rd Prize: David Delgado Arquitectos (Bogota-Colombia) Code BL9

Architect David Delgado Rodríguez

Honourable Mentions:

  • Estudio Altiplano (Bogota-Colombia) Code AD6
  • Fernando y Rincón Arquitectos (Bogota-Colombia) Code EB3
  • Consortium Arquitectos Latinoamericanos: García Estefan (Montería-Colombia) & Monoblock (Argentina) Code SC4

Complying with the rules, all proposals submitted were anonymous throughout the process. The jury included practicing and academic architects and urbanists, alongside experts on bioclimatic architecture, exhibition and archive design. The jury hold extensive experience in the issues of memory, conflict and museums, including two jury members having designed museums of memory, one in Bogota, Colombia and the other one in Santiago, Chile.

From the 72 projects submitted, the jury members selected 24 in the first round. Later, the selection reduced the proposals to 14, to 8, and finally to 6.

The jury members were architects Juan Pablo Ortiz, Clemencia Escallón, Mauricio Pinilla, Mario Figueroa and Efrain Riaño.

Winning Team

MGP Arquitectura & Urbanismo is an award-winning Colombian architectural firm based in Bogota. Founded by architect Felipe González Pacheco in 1991, the firm has developed a remarkable portfolio including residential and office buildings, educational and institutional projects, and urban design plans.

Estudio Entresitio is a renowned Spanish architecture studio founded in 2003 by architects María Hurtado de Mendoza, César Jiménez de Tejada, and José María Hurtado de Mendoza, after having worked with globally recognized architect Rafael Moneo. Their work has been published widely in Europe, Asia, and America.

ganador Museo Nacional Memoria 2015 Colombia interiores

Competition Awards

The winner of the competition will be awarded COP 670 million Colombian pesos (approximately USD 245,000). In addition, the contract for the development of the project comprises a sum of COP 3.2 billion Colombian pesos (approximately USD 1.2 million) that will be provided as a fee to develop the project design. The contestants that came second and third in the competition will be awarded COP 134 million Colombian pesos (approximately USD 49,000) and COP 89 million Colombian pesos (approximately USD 32,000) respectively.

Competition Highlights

The single-round competition was open to qualified architects, natural or legal person, Colombian or foreign, either individually, as a joint venture or consortium. For international candidates was a requirement to establish an alliance with a Colombian representative. Launched on April 9, the competition’s final rules were published on May 27 and the registration was due June 19, 2015. Besides Colombia, applications were received from the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Austria, Hong Kong, and also from Latin America, with Mexico, Chile, and Brazil.

109 applications were received and 72 proposals were submitted, each of these composed by six plates.

From August 10 and for the following two weeks, all proposals will be exhibited to the general public in Bogota, at the City’s Archive.

About the National Centre for Historical Memory

The National Centre for Historical Memory’s (NCHM) purpose is to contribute to the comprehensive reparation and to the right to the truth for the victims of the Colombian armed conflict as well as society in general. The Centre accomplishes this by reconstructing, through the testimony of victims, the human rights violations that occurred during the armed conflict, searching for truth, justice, reparation and the construction of a sustainable and lasting peace.

The NCHM is a platform for the articulation, compilation, inclusion and increased visibility of the plural memories of Colombia’s armed conflict, emphasizing the victims’ perspective, in order to contribute to the historical clarification and to provide assurances of non-repetition.

All of the information gathered by the National Centre for Historical Memory is made available to victims as well as to educational institutions, international cooperation partners, public institutions, and citizens in general through different museum activities, including educational, academic and cultural initiatives that enrich the knowledge of Colombia’s political and social history.

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Procedures and services

Publicado 18 Sep 2019

Report Request:

If interested in any publication or product from our research projects please send your application to the following email: or through the following form.The centre will reply with instructions for the process to follow and the delivery date, according to our inventory.

Contributing to the truth and historic memory

Description: contribute in an effective way to understand the creation of illegal armed forces. Also knowing what they did, the context in which it happened and who the victims were. However, this does not implicate any judicial charge for those who contribute to the process.

Results: a certificate for contributing to the truth and historic memoire.

Estimated time of procedure: two (2) months

What is needed to contribute?

  1. Fulfil the necessary conditions to carry out the procedure
    1. Verification: to compromise and commit to reintegrate to society and contribute to the truth before the Colombian Agency of Reintegration (ACR)
    2. Verification: being demobilized
    3. Documents needed: Identity Card (please present original document)
    4. Verification: only applies when committed the following crimes: criminal conspiracy, simple or aggravated, illicit use of uniforms and badges, illicit use of transmitting and receiving devices and the illegal carriage of firearms and ammunition.
  2. Attend to the formal citations for a structured and full interview.

Information for the follow up and tracking of the user:

CENTRO DE MEMORIA HISTÓRICA, BOGOTA D.C. –Monday through Friday from 8:00 am till 5:00 pm - CR 6 # 35 - 29 – telephone numbers: (1) 7965060 – 237.

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The National Museum of Memory

Publicado 18 Sep 2019

Creating a National Museum of Memory is a task entrusted to the National Center for Historical Memory in accordance with the Law 1448 of 2011 (Victims and Land Restitution Law).

According to the Law, this museum “must perform actions aimed at restoring the dignity of victims and to disseminate the truth about what happened”. Thus, the National Museum of Memory is a breakthrough in the State’s duty to preserving the historical narrative and is constituted as one of the measures of repair and restitution to the victims of Colombia’s armed conflict.

The work carried out by victims, victim organizations as well as defenders of human rights and academics concerning memory and historical narrative, is the basis for the dialog and for the construction of contents for the National Museum of Memory, which must be, like Colombia itself, diverse and plural. This museum, which in the future will have a building in the city of Bogotá, is conceived as a space of inclusive reparation, open and public, articulating perspectives and narratives whose contents will be relevant, rich, flexible and open to being challenged. As of now, the Museum is a scenario for encounters and debate that, far from creating an official memory, generates documents and appropriate moments for reflection to understand and interpret our history.

International Competition: Architectural design of Colombia's National Museum of Memory

Registration Deadline: 19 June

Project Submission Deadline: 29 July


afiche english

On 9 April 2015, the National Centre for Historical Memory (NCHM), in association with the Colombian Society of Architects, launched the International Competition for the Architectural Design of the National Museum of Memory (NMM) in the city of Bogota. The NCHM invites the international community to publicise this information and encourage global participation in this international competition. The competition seeks to ensure that the architectural proposal complies with the restorative, monumental and memorial nature of this project.

The competition aims to select the best proposal that will articulate this complex architectural programme effectively. Therefore, it requires an emotive, plural, aesthetical, flexible and symbolic design. The timeframe regarding registration and reception of proposals will be communicated in the coming days.

The National Museum of Memory is a project of great urbanistic and political transcendence for Colombia. For this reason, it must integrate a special component formed by sensitive contents, which will put into context and encourage participants to understand those who will inhabit and fill the Museum with life, in particular the victims. The architects need to take into account these voices in order to interpret what happened, as memory plays a leading role in the construction of a better society in the future.

The building itself should be a memorial, which means it should have an architecture with a commemorative nature that would give account of the intention of the content. The monumentality of the Museum should therefore celebrate the symbolic meaning of the Museum content: it is about respect, plurality and diversity, about remembrance, criticism and creation. “A daily meeting point with the unspeakable” (Barry Bergdoll). 

The NMM and the adjacent Democracy Square will constitute a continuum of expression of knowledge, grief, resistance, creativity and resilience, which the Colombian population from all regions has demonstrated towards violence. In that regard, it is a special synthesis of the various places of memory built in different sites in Colombia, in which violations of human rights took place. Taking into account these particularities, the Colombian Society of Architects, the National Centre for Historical Memory and the Office of the Mayor of Bogota have selected recognized architects. This includes five professionals that will have the enormous responsibility to choose the winning architectural firm, which will design the future National Museum of Memory. Every one of them, from their respective field, will critically, thoughtfully and sensitively assess the proposals. They will make recommendations and suggestions to the winning design in order to make this a historic, architectural and museological milestone in Colombia.

This international competition will award the three best proposals that meet and comply with the requirements to express the memories of what happened and the voices of resistance, while combining through the different areas of the Museum the expectations and demands of the citizens that contribute to the construction of a better country.


Sociedad Colombiana de Arquitectos
Address: Carrera 6 No. 26B – 85 Plataforma. Bogotá D.C., Cundinamarca
Tel: (+571) 350 2606 Fax: (+571) 350 2608

More information and frequently asked questions >>

Fact Sheet about the National Museum of Memory >>


Colombia’s National Museum of Memory - Competition Update

(July 13, 2015)

With more than 100 architectural firms registered from all over the world, the registration stage for Colombia’s National Museum of Memory International Competition closed last month.

The National Centre for Historical Memory announced that 109 applications were received, becoming one of the largest architectural competitions ever held in Colombia, according to the Colombian Society of Architects.

The competition was open to qualified architects —either individuals or teams— from anywhere in the world. Launched on April 9, the competition’s final rules were published on May 27 and the registration was due June 19, 2015. Besides Colombia, applications were received from the United States, from Europe, including Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Austria, and also from Latin America, with Mexico, Chile, and Brazil.

Jury Process

All registered candidates have to submit their proposals until July 29. Then, the selection process will take place and the winner will be announced on August 13, 2015. 

All proposals submitted will be anonymous to the five-member competition jury. The jury includes practicing and academic architects and urbanists, alongside experts on bioclimatic architecture and exhibition design. The jury hold extensive experience in the issues of memory, conflict and museums having two jury members designed museums of memory, one in Bogota, Colombia and the other one in Santiago, Chile. 

The competition jury members are: Juan Pablo Ortiz, Clemencia Escallón, Mauricio Pinilla, Mario Figueroa, and Efrain Riaño.

From August 10 and for two weeks, all proposals will be exhibited to the general public in Bogota.

Competition Awards

The winner of the competition will be awarded COP 670 million Colombian pesos (approximately USD 245.000). In addition to the contract for the development of the project, a sum of COP 3.2 billion Colombian pesos (approximately USD 1.2 million) will be provided as a fee to develop the project design. The contestant that came second and third in the competition will be awarded COP 134 million Colombian pesos (approximately USD 49.000) and COP 89 million Colombian pesos (approximately USD 32.000), respectively.

Published in English version


Publicado 18 Sep 2019

Through audiovisual projects such as videos, galleries and multimedia, we narrate the memory of victims of Colombia’s armed conflict, giving their memory initiatives visibility so that the crimes they witnessed aren’t forgotten and don't recur.

The results of research and missional activities are broadcast through educational resources such as radio programs, podcasts, printed leaflets and infographics that are accessible to diverse audiences.

The majority of the reports published to the date include one or more of these pedagogical components. The investigation “Enough Already!” for example resulted in a condensed brief, a radio series and the documentary "There was no time for sadness" which narrates how Colombia has been the scene of armed conflict for over 50 years and how citizens have survived this long period of violence. Soon there will be a multimedia version of the report, and it will be translated into English as well as indigenous languages.

Clic to see all the contents of multimedia

Historical Memory Documentaries with English Subtitles



BBC HARDtalk - Sergio Jaramillo - Colombia's High Commissioner for Peace

'Change is possible': Talking with the enemy in Colombia

Watch video >>

Faces of Memories

Faces of Memories presents some memory initiatives developed by communities and victims' organizations across Colombia, focusing on four projects: The Graffitour from Comuna 13 in Medellín, the Songs of Alabaos from Bojayá-Chocó, the Monument Park in Trujillo, Valle del Cauca, and the Never Again Salon in Granada, Antioquia.

Faces of Memories brings together a sample of the creativity of Colombian men and women who tell their stories of resistance through the arts, culture, spaces, and exhibitions.

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Publicado 18 Sep 2019

An important objective of the NCHM is to elaborate and spread a narrative about armed conflict in Colombia that identifies “the reasons for the emergence and evolution of illegal armed groups” (Law 975 of 2005), as well as the different truths and memories engendered by that violence, with a preferential approach for the voices of victims that have been suppressed or silenced. In addition, the Center formulates proposals of public policy that support the effective exercise of the right to truth, justice and reparation and assurances of non-repetition.

These are some of the reports, built on the voices of the victims, regarding emblematic cases of violence in Colombia:

Available in english




Available only in spanish







Published in English version

Its main objective is to recover and protect documentary resources, including oral testimonies, written documents, photographic material, and news reports, which document violations of Human Rights in Colombia. The Direction of the Archive works hand in hand with the victims of armed conflict in the identification and retrieval of relevant information for the archive.

The team also hosts awareness-raising workshops with victimized communities and national and international experts to ensure the understanding of the relevance of the archives in the process of clarifying the truth and reconstructing a narrative of historical memory.

This direction is responsible for ensuring the right to information, access and confidentiality of documents related to the history of the Colombian conflict. The Direction for the Archives on Human Rights issues recommendations, from a legal perspective, on confidentiality, safeguarding the privacy and security of the people who are involved in these documents and testimonies.

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This division was created to compile the testimonies of fifteen thousand ex-paramilitary men and women who were not involved in serious crimes and have completed the process of reintegration to civilian life without relapsing in criminal acts. The compiled stories will contribute to the clarification of acts perpetrated by the illegal armed forces to which they belonged, and will make a major contribution to the Right to the Truth, and to the reparation of victims.

Its responsibility is to gather, classify, systematize, analyze and preserve the information that is gathered in collective and individual interviews. With this collected information, the Direction develops, publishes and disseminates periodic reports.

The DTA has a national office in Bogotá D.C., and regional headquarters in various Colombian states, which are being launched in a phased manner between 2013 and 2014, to complete a total of 23 sites.

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