Necrolandscapes: the political life of mutilated and banished corpses in the rivers of Colombia Academic Article


  • Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies


  • Different narratives in Colombia show how the apparition of mutilated andunidentified corpses in rivers - as an outcome of decades of war and violence - hasreorganised national geography, as well as the affective relationships with space anddeath. Based on literary sources and testimonies, this article analyses how the presenceof human remains has affected the ways of life in territories marked by necropolitics,transforming the perception of the threshold between life and death, and the conditionsof existence of those involved. First, the article explores how the inhabitants of placeslocated on the banks of the Magdalena and Cauca rivers have elaborated theirinteractions with the remains that appear on the rivers, and how these interactionsproduce frictions with expert knowledge and practices such as forensic practices.Secondly, the article describes how through different material and aesthetic mediationsthese banished corpses have been inscribed in the texture of everyday life. Thesematerial and aesthetic mediations include the choosing of animas of “NN” corpses(unidentified) in Puerto Berrıo or the construction of a Park-Monument in Trujillo tokeep the remains of corpses that have been identified there.

publication date

  • 2021-1-1


  • 29

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1356-9325

number of pages

  • 26

start page

  • 555

end page

  • 580