Author Archives: María Fernanda OlarteSierra

I am an ethnographer of science and technology. I have been working on technologies of memory practices and knowledge productions regarding processes of dealing with the past. My main focus has been on forensic specialists and the in-between place in which they are positioned as fundamental actors for investigating and identifying victims and perpetrators, while at the same time their qualitative experiences as main actors go largely overlooked. I am currently addressing the work of forensic specialists working on the Colombian armed conflict.

Unearthing Knowledge: Forensic Anthropology and Technologies of Memory

What is commonly known as the Colombian conflict refers to more than six decades of enduring violence. During these years, a number of peace agreements have been signed with some of the main actors, including the agreement signed with paramilitaries in 2005[1] and the recently signed peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—the FARC guerrilla group[2]. Attempts to build peace have included compensation and reparation to victims. In this process, the forensic identification of bodies has been crucial, placing forensic experts center-stage. (read more...)