8840 - Rapping for Life

In the peripheral neighborhoods of Medellín and Bogotá the armed conflict is experienced in a different way than in the rest of the Colombian territory. It is not the open battle for lands that the national army, the paramilitary groups and the guerrilla carry out in the countryside, and it is neither the almost imperceptible conflict situation that one could experience in the fancy shopping malls in the main cities. In the periphery, the armed conflict, while reduced in terms of territory, is intensified and complicated in a place where the State’s presence is limited.      

Through different dynamics the armed groups govern entire neighborhoods by the imposition of violence. Children grow up in a vicious situation where do not have many options besides joining one of the armed groups or becoming the target of others. In the middle of this context some young men and women decide to break out of the cycle of violence and dare to imagine a different way of life; they sing their reality out loud, they rap and denounce the cruelty of the armed conflict that affects their daily life.      

This presentation is focused on two case studies. The first one, that of the band Enigma Urbano who formed expressly to denounce the case of young men from the peripheral areas killed by the military forces and made to look like members of the guerrilla groups in order to enhance their statistics in the antiterrorist war – the so called falsos positivos . The second case is that of young rap singers from the Comuna 13, Medellín who denounce the violence in which they have to live day-by-day. They make explicit their intention to make music an alternative to the violence for other young people in las comunas .      

The main thesis of this presentation is that these young women and men are making peace by resisting violence by shooting words instead of bullets. They perform peace when they sing their songs, when they create awareness of the reality in which they live.      

Palavras-chaves: peace, rap, Art

Autores: Lozano, Natalia (ninguno, Colombia / Kolumbien)


University of Vienna | Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Ring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43 1 4277 17575