Observatory of Symbolic Violence

The concept of an observatory of symbolic violence arises from the observation that occupation, conflicts and protracted crises generate less visible and less obvious violence against minority groups, their culture and their identity.

Symbolic violence was first defined by Pierre Bourdieu as a form of violence that leads to marginalization, discrimination and stigmatization though a process of normalisation. Symbolic violence does not only reside in significant events but especially in everyday events. The suffering resulting from symbolic violence is instilled in small doses, but constantly, and is therefore characterized by the normalization of the discriminatory situation.

Symbolic violence can be observed in architecture, control of space as well as in narratives about space. This project was linked to responses to this form of violence through symbolic repair and building resilience. Our main cases studied are the West Bank and Colombia.

The Observatory of Symbolic Violence was established in 2014 to support organizations working primarily with displaced and marginalized populations in the West Bank, in coffee-producing regions of the Valle del Cauca and with Afro-descendants in the Pacific and coastal areas. from the Caribbean of Colombia. Through a participatory process of action research and learning, the project aims to interact with the impacts of stigma and modes of resilience of populations.

Project start

September 2014