Natalia Lozano Mancera was born in Bogotá, Colombia, where she grew up surrounded by her father’s large family who were all at some point of their lives politically active in leftist movements. Inspired by her family she studied Political Science at the National University of Colombia. Her BA degree thesis was called “Musical Consumption and Production in Internally Displaced People in Bogotá.” Some years afterwards she worked for a govermental organization in charge of reparations for victims of paramilitary groups. Being so close to the situations of the different victims she realized she did not want to work in processes of reparations but in processes that allow people to escape from being victimized. In 2007 she became a student in the MA program in Peace Studies at the University of Innsbruck. She graduated last January with a thesis called “Playing Music Performing Resistance, the dynamics of resistance through music in the Colombia south Pacific coast” in which she analyzes little acts of resistance related to the marimba music. Currently, she works for a NGO in Colombia in which she gives workshops on Conflict Transformation and Peace Education to vulnerable populations. She recently enrolled in the PhD program of Media and Communications of the European Graduate School, where she wants to continue working with the concepts of resistance and revolution in relation to arts and creativity.
My interest in nonviolent struggle was first sparked “…by living in a country where violence is so overwhelming. My interest was also sparked by having the conviction that we as creative human beings have the capacity to transform those violent realities. I’ve been personally involved in nonviolent action, when the current Colombian president wanted to reform the National Constitution in order to run for a third term (he already had changed it to run for the second one). I participated in an organization called Civil Alliance for Democracy that worked against that reform, and any other reform that would threaten the principles of freedom and plurality proclaimed by the Constitution. I’ve learned that there is nothing that can justify the use of violence. There are not fair causes in the name of which violence can be used. I hope to take away from the Fletcher Summer Institute shared moments and knowledge about others’ experiences and about resistance theories that will give me the will to keep on studying and acting in nonviolent movements.”