Art looks to aid healing process from Colombia's civil war

Tue Jul 19, 2016 1:11pm EDT
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By Antonia Eklund

(Reuters) - Wilson Barreto was blinded by a Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) bomb attack in Bogota when he was 19 years old.

Now, he is featured in a documentary naked, standing in Bogota's Bolivar Plaza with more than 6,000 other Colombians from all sides of the civil war, which began in the early 1960s.

The short film, "Keep Walking Colombia," released to coincide with the country's Independence Day, charts the stories of five Colombians as they take part in American photographer Spencer Tunick's most recent nude photo art project.

"After the attack, I don't remember a thing. I woke up five days later and my fellow officers had already been buried," Barreto said. "It was very hard, waking up in the day, opening my eyes and seeing nothing."

Also appearing in the documentary is María del Pilar Navarrete, who talked about the abduction and disappearance of her husband, Hector Jaime Beltrán, following a 1985 assault on Bogota's Palace of Justice by M-19 rebels, in which over 100 people died, including almost half of the country's Supreme Court justices.

"On 6th November, it will be 30 years and six months since I last saw my husband," Navarrete said, underscoring that her role in Tunick's project made her feel as though she was "paying homage" to her husband.

"I'm going to bare my soul and my body to tell everyone who he was," she added.

More than two weeks ago, FARC leaders and the government announced a ceasefire deal in Cuba after talks that lasted almost four years.   Continued...