In the name of Fundación Puntos de Encuentro, and on my own behalf, I wish to thank all of the men and women former combatants who were involved in the painting workshops; I thank them for the trust they put in me and for having believed in this project of art and memory. I also thank each and every one of them for bringing me closer to the war in Colombia than ever before, and for inspiring me to take an adamant stance against it. I thank them for allowing their paintings to be displayed to the public and preserved in the future by a museum in Colombia that will value them as the heritage that they represent and deserve.
I thank workshop facilitators Fernando Grisalez and Noel Palacios, for all of their collaboration and enthusiasm throughout the workshops. With them it was possible to create a place for the humanism and trust that is indispensable for all of those who participated in the workshops; I feel that this shared experience has made us friends for life.
I would like to thank Ana Tiscornia for having accepted the challenge of curating this complex exhibition. I have been familiar with her writings on contemporary arts for many years, the different shows she has curated, and her own works of art that explore memory as their main subject. I also thank her for the constant and respectful dialogue that we have sustained over these years.
I want to thank Darío Villamizar not only for his highly relevant essay in the catalogue, but also for opening the door of the Alcaldía de Bogotá to us; for over two years he has given us his friendship and continuos support making possible for us to pursue this project. I also thank María Errázuriz for all of her collaboration.
I owe María Clemencia Castro, Álvaro Medina, Alejandro Reyes, and Gonzalo Sánchez my gratitude for their essays in the catalogue, which are essential contributions for understanding this historical memory project. I also thank each of them very much for their enriching discussions about the paintings. They made it possible for me to arrive at new readings of many of these works.
I thank the Ejército Colombiano for allowing us to do the painting workshops with soldiers who were wounded in combat. At the Batallón de Sanidad in Bogotá I was able to see and understand, as never before, the irreparable mental and physical toll that the war has taken on so many of Colombia’s young people.
I thank Gloria Zea, director of the Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá (Mambo), who invited us to show this exhibition of paintings by former combatants, and María Elvira Ardila, Mambo curator, who also contributed an essay to the catalogue.
I thank Laura Espinosa for her generosity, her friendship, and her dedication. Had it not been for the location that she provided to Fundación Puntos de Encuentro, we would not have been able to share the paintings with such a wide range of people.
For their collaboration and support for this show, I would like to thank Arturo Aparicio, Diana Barco, Julia Barco, Gonzalo Córdoba, María Eugenia Coronado, Fernando Cortés, Mónica de Greiff, Eleonora Echeverri, Carlos Antonio Espinosa, María Angélica Forero, Mónica Gómez de Espinosa, Andrés Jaramillo, Alejandro Linares, Lina Mejía, María Cristina Mejía, Laura Obregón, Puki Obregón, Eduardo Pacheco, Mauricio Piñeros, María Celina Restrepo, Rafael José Rincón, Daniel Rodríguez, Lucio Rubio, María Helena Rueda, Enrique Santos, Mariana Schmidt, Paula Torres, Guillermo Zúñiga, and my siblings Andrés, Elena and Patricia Echavarría.
To those who visited us to see the paintings, I thank for their time and their valuable observations: Yasmín Agudelo, Ana Almonacid, Sara Araújo, Virgilio Barco, Lilia Carvajal, Juan Andrés Casas, Sarah Castro, Javier Ciurlizza, Father Francisco de Roux, Amparo de Villamizar, Carlos Alberto Díaz, Jairo Díaz, Camilo Durán, Carlos Ignacio Echeverri, Jon Elster, Angélica Gallón, Laura Gil, Guillermo González, María Isabel González, Diego Guerrero, Felipe Gutiérrez, Claudia Hakim, María Isabel Henao, José Hernández, Rudolf Hommes, Catalina Jiménez, Paulo Laserna, Juanita León, Alicia Llorente, María Victoria Llorente, Rafael Londoño, Marcela López, Ana Cristina Mejía, Elizabeth Melo, Antanas Mockus, César Molineros, Juanita Monsalve, Ana Milena Muñoz de Gaviria, Father Leonel Narváez, Evaristo Obregón, José Antonio Ocampo, Iván Orozco, Darío Fernando Patiño, Frank Pearl, Eduardo Pizarro, Alberto Preciado, Father Antún Ramos, Juan Carlos Roa, José Gregorio Rodríguez, Margarita Rojas, María Teresa Ronderos, María Isabel Rueda, Alicia Eugenia Silva, William Torres, María Victoria Uribe, León Valencia, Lucero Vargas, Marcela Velásquez, Santiago Villa, Myriam Villegas, Elizabeth Wood, Luis Alberto Yepes, and Liduine Zumpolle.
To Gabriel Ossa for all his dedication and collaboration with this project.
I thank Marco Maggi, Óscar Montoya, Liliana Porter, and Manolo Vellojín, my friends who stood by me throughout this process.
I thank María Eugenia Niño for her contributions and dedication in the production of this book.
For all of their support in the production of this exhibition, I thank the following companies: Alianza Team, Alkosto, Davivienda, Codensa, Endesa, Emgesa, Colpatria, Empresa de Energía de Bogotá, Gas Natural, Racafé, Seguros Bolívar and Terra.
I owe my gratitude to the Alta Consejería Presidencial para la Reintegración, Corpovisionarios, Fundación Colombia Diversa, Fundación Ideas para la Paz, Fundación para la Reconciliación, and Marcelo Álvarez, head of the Misión de Apoyo al Proceso de Paz en Colombia de la Organización de los Estados Americanos MAPP-OEA, and Observatorio de Procesos de Desarme, Desmovilización y Reintegración de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia. I also thank the Secretaría Distrital de Gobierno de la Alcaldía Mayor de Bogotá, Clara López, Carlos Rangel, Programa de Atención al Proceso de Desmovilización y Reintegración, Lisseth Ángel, Ana Gómez, Diana Mendoza, Centro de Memoria, Paz y Reconciliación, Camilo González, and Marcela López.
To Laura Cardona and Juan Carlos Rondón. Their dedication and collaboration for over two years was indispensable for the realization of this project. And also to the other members of the Fundación Puntos de Encuentro: Guillermo Carvajalino, Laura Espinosa, María Claudia Garavito, Fernando Grisalez, Nora Guzmán, Ana María Llorente, Noel Palacios, Rossana Ramírez and Alexis Sabet; I give my thanks because their ideas and collaboration were indispensable in making this project happen.
And to my personal collaborators Orlando Bedoya, Kelly Buitrago and John Jairo Camacho.