This briefing paper is part of a broader project investigating societal responses to violence in the state of Michoacán in Mexico. It explores the role that art and cultural activities can play in helping societies respond and give testimony to the experience of violence. It focuses on two case study locations in Michoacán: Lázaro Cárdenas and Apatzingán.
In post-conflict settings, art and culture can contribute to healing and reconciliation and social cohesion by giving voice to trauma and injustice, and to restoring social trust and non-violent forms of exchange within communities. Here the authors consider the impact of an emerging set of international interventions in conflict-affected settings that has sought to support cultural activities and art forms that aim to counter or address conflict-related violence.
This paper was informed by a chapter by Edgar Guerra and Ariadna Sánchez, ‘Activismos culturales en Michoacán. La (re)apropiación del discurso del arte y la cultura para el cambio social‘ in an upcoming publication edited by Edgar Guerra, Sociedad civil desde la periferia: Un estudio comparativo sobre las respuestas y dilemas de la sociedad frente a la violencia y la fragilidad institucional, to be published by CIDE Investigación e Ideas.