"Los Igualados, la Rosca y la Malicia" is my graduate thesis completed for Pratt Institute's MFA Communications Design program in May 2015. I believe design is able to provide meaningful opportunities for social critique and self-reflection through the exploration of the interdependence of culture, language and memory. With my native Colombia as a case study and using cultural memory as an entry point, the purpose of this thesis is to study the role of language in the development of the country's ongoing civil conflict, and also language’s potential to configure strategies that favor scenarios for social reconciliation. The purpose of this book is to provide an overview of the design process behind this thesis, from the early research stages leading up to the conceptualization process, and concluding with the final documentation of the projects developed.
As a Colombian citizen, I think ongoing peace efforts demand of Colombian civil society a reflection on its role in the war, besides the admission of the crimes committed and the reparation to victims. I strongly believe that since the civil conflict is deeply rooted in long-lasting social inequality, it is our duty as citizens to acknowledge our responsibilities on the widening of the social gap, and be aware of the importance of behavioral change necessary to meet the conditions that might help us achieve sustainable peace. The goals of such behavioral transformation are to reach stages of reconciliation and acceptance, and prioritizing collective well-being over individual benefit. For this reason, each project is intended to trigger conversations around the conflict, its causes and the role of society in its evolution.
The main concept of this thesis is born from what I perceive to be a void of identity in our Nation: as Colombians, we glorify alien cultures and often neglect our own roots. Following these cultural aspirations, and by means of language, I subverted the original themes of the French Revolution in order to present their current form in Colombian society: los Igualados, la Rosca y la Malicia. Based on each of these concepts, I developed three visual communication projects, which are presented in different entries in this website.