On Friday May 3rd, Elena Garcés Echavarría, co-founder of the Alvaralice Foundation, launched her book, ‘Colombian Women, the struggle out of silence’, at the Manuel Olivella Hall during the 32nd International Book Fair in Bogota. The book was presented during a panel discussion led by journalist Claudia Palacios.
In her book, the author analyzes the culture, history, economics, laws and religion in Colombia, while promoting ideas that question the restrictions imposed to women by Colombian society.
By documenting 18 stories of Colombian women from different walks of life, including the author herself, the book explores the experiences and challenges that these women have faced and their difficult relationships with the Colombian social institutions.
The book was first printed in English in 2008. The Spanish translation was made by Elena Garcés and Milagros Terán to share the findings gathered in the book with Spanish-speaking readers.
This book inspired the creation of ‘Colomb!anas: A Collective Bio’ (www.colombianas.org) an interactive digital platform that compiles interviews of Colombian women of different ages, ethnicities and origins, giving a collective account of the experience of being a woman in Colombia. Thanks to Elena’s the example and encouragement –who was the first to sit in front of the cameras to tell her story– the production of the first stage of this project was possible.
Today the project consists of a virtual platform that allows Colombian women to share their stories and document their life experiences.
About the author:
Elena Garcés Echavarría was born in Cali, Colombia. She is a feminist, researcher and writer in Colombia and in the United States.
She holds a PhD in Human Sciences from George Washington University (2002) –her dissertation is titled ‘The Construction of Radical Feminist Knowledge: Women in Colombia as an Example’. She also holds a MA degree in Public Policy and Women’s Studies from the same university (1991) and a BA in Anthropology and Women’s Studies from American University in Washington D.C. (1998), where she graduated with the highest honors (cum laude) and was awarded the Scholastic All American title.
She is the co-founder of Colectivo Mujeres Pazíficas, a feminist group in Colombia working for peace, and a feminist magazine, ‘La Cábala’, serving also as its editor during the 1980’s.