Memory for Healing: A Journey of Transformation and Inner Peace

How can remembering and narrating the violent past become a possibility for transformation, healing, and finding inner peace? Having asked this to myself several times I developed this inquiry in my thesis research, where I intertwined the memories of violent conflicts in Colombia with my own experiences of loss and transformation. With my thesis, I build a more personal approach to memory and transformation (which can be individual as well as collective) and share a critique on political processes of remembering. Therefore, this thesis is a reflection of a personal journey -which has been enriched with the journeys from survivors of violent conflicts in the jungles of Chocó in Colombia- to find a way to weave the past and the present together; weaving through wounds, sorrows, memories, narratives, and responsibilities. Allowing oneself the possibility of transforming and forgiving or reconciling with one’s reality and with others, healing and connecting with a sense of inner peace.

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This thesis is the reflection of a personal journey that originated with a crisis in 2010 with the death of my father and began to unfold into a more conscious transformative process during my first semester in Innsbruck. Working on my thesis for one complete year I encountered my deepest sorrows, and met with the sorrows of others; but I also found a great source of love, in others and in myself. Writing this thesis has been a challenging and beautiful endeavor where I have put my soul into, and found out that the process has cleansed many of my wounds and make me aware of them. Thus, through this writing process I have learned that I carry wounds and that they are transforming, and transforming me all the time. I began my research and writing in Colombia, and finished it in Norway; this change of location has been also part of the process. A process that cannot be concluded, but that it has necessarily transformed.

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