'Somos' - a documentary by Elena Butti
‘Somos’ (We Are): A participatory documentary on youth and peacebuilding in Colombia
What do the youngest in society think about Colombia’s much celebrated transition to peace? What is their idea of peace, and what do they think about the peace negotiations between the government and the FARC-EP guerrilla? This participatory documentary addresses these questions. ‘Somos’ was realised by 24 Colombian adolescents as part of the ethnographic fieldwork of Oxford doctoral student Elena Butti. While government and guerrilla group FARC-EP reached a historic peace agreement, these young people learned to use cameras to voice their world their own side of the story, so far gone untold. Their narratives draw a clear connection between domestic violence, drugs use, social discrimination, and the youths’ resort to violence: interconnected structural problems that need to be urgently tackled if Colombia aims to achieve a lasting peace in the long term. These youths' message message is clear: peace entails much more than the demobilisation of an armed group.
Elena Butti is a doctoral candidate at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies of the University of Oxford. Her research investigates the experiences of conflict-affected adolescents in the transitional justice and peacebuilding process in Colombia, where she conducted 16 months of ethnographic fieldwork. In Colombia, Elena has also collaborated with the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). At Oxford, she is co-founder of the Oxford Children’s Rights Network, and a member of the Oxford Transitional Justice Research group and of the Oxford Network of Peace Studies.