Keep Walking Colombia

20 July 2016 by

When acclaimed photographer Spencer Tunick persuaded more than 6,000 Colombians to pose nude in Bogotá’s Bolívar Square on 5 June this year, the event was more than just another in his series of globe-trotting installations.

Included in the massed crowds were combatants and victims from all sides of Colombia’s decades-long civil strife, unified for the first time in a show of peace and hope for the war-torn country’s future.

Documentary short Keep Walking Colombia, produced by Johnnie Walker and the Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá (MAMBO), tells the story of five of those who took part in Tunick’s project, in their own words.

Its relative brevity (less than five minutes) does nothing to diminish its power and resonance, particularly in the uncertain times in which we currently live.

Wilson Barreto, blinded at the age of 19 when a FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) bomb attack hit his police unit, later discovered that a close friend of his, Luis, was one of those responsible for the attack:
‘I want to be an example of finding peace with someone who was on the other side, who was against me and fought me. I took part in the project to spread this message. I believe that one day, we can be good countrymen.’

Ederlidia Garizao made uniforms and rifle slings for the AUC right-wing paramilitary:
‘I now have my own workshop and I employ many different people: displaced persons, people who fought for the other sides of the conflict, as well as women from the community.’

Pilar Navarrete’s husband was abducted and disappeared during the Palace of Justice siege in Bogotá more than 30 years ago:
‘I feel like I'm paying homage. I'm going to bare my soul and my body to tell everyone who he was, to tell them about Hector Jaime Beltrán.’

Maria Esperanza Sierra was a FARC combatant:
‘We all made mistakes, but we have a right to change, if we choose to take that step.’

Pablo Emilio Moncayo was an army officer:
‘We are all equal. Whatever differences you may see, we all have blood in our veins; we are all made of skin and bones.’

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