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Dissident narratives of violence in Colombia: from armed conflict to queer everyday multiconflicto

Chacón Barrero, Melissa (2023) Dissident narratives of violence in Colombia: from armed conflict to queer everyday multiconflicto. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.00004580


This thesis explores the intersections of everyday violence and conflict-related violence in the life course of people with non-normative gender and sexuality in Colombia from a queer feminist perspective. The research is based on 12 life story interviews with LGBTIQ+ people born and raised in conflict-affected contexts across the country. Arguing that recent historical memory reports have included the testimonies of “LGBTI victims of armed conflict” as evidence of violent occurrences and not as epistemic standpoints, I use a feminist narrative analysis to recover the political power of these voices by listening to the interviewees’ life stories as meaningful narratives about how violence works in specific contexts. Taking these dissident narratives as a point of departure, this thesis argues that the official internal armed conflict narrative and the transitional justice framework do not capture the complexity and variety of the violences that shape the everyday of LGBTIQ+ people in Colombia. These life story narratives demonstrate that the spectacular conflict-related violence is only one event in a broader violent process of subject formation that LGBTIQ+ people experience across their life trajectories. In this analysis, I focus on three narrative plots that emerged from these life stories, silence, displacement, and peace, to explore how LGBTIQ+ people’s desires, practices, and embodiments have been discursively and spatially shaped as a threat to society in the Colombian context and how interviewees negotiate and challenge this subject position on an everyday basis. This analysis builds on queer phenomenological approaches to study violence as a relational phenomenon that affects how subjectivities are embodied and bodies oriented in spatiotemporal terms. Finally, thinking of violence outside the frames of internal armed conflict and drawing on interviewees’ life story narratives, the thesis proposes the concept of intimate peace to shed light on embodied practices of peacebuilding that emerge from queer disruptions of everyday violence. Thus, this thesis unveils other possible narratives of violence, justice, and peace in Colombia.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2023 Melissa Chacón Barrero
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Departments > Gender Institute
Supervisor: Hemmings, Clare and Sabsay, Leticia

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