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Shooting Cameras for Peace / Disparando Cámaras para la Paz

Shooting Cameras for Peace / Disparando Cámaras para la Paz

Youth, Photography, and the Colombian Armed Conflict / Juventud, Fotografía y el Conflicto Armado Colombiano

Alexander L. Fattal

Translated by Andrew Klatt and María Clemencia Ramírez

ISBN 9780873658713

Publication date: 12/01/2020

Winner of the John Collier Jr. Award for Still Photography

As a young Fulbright scholar in Bogotá determined to democratize the photographic gaze and bring new visions and voices to public debate about Colombia’s armed conflict, Alexander L. Fattal founded Disparando Cámaras para la Paz (Shooting Cameras for Peace). The project taught photography to young people in El Progreso, a neighborhood on the city’s outskirts that was home to families displaced by violence in the countryside. Cameras in hand, the youth had a chance to record and reimagine their daily existence.

Shooting Cameras for Peace / Disparando Cámaras para la Paz is a penetrating look at one of Latin America’s most dynamic participatory media projects. The haunting and exuberant photographs made under its auspices testify to young people’s will to play, to dream, and to survive. The images bear witness to the resilience and creativity of lives marked by a war that refuses to die.

With text in English and Spanish, Shooting Cameras for Peace / Disparando Cámaras para la Paz makes vital contributions to studies of collaborative media, photographic activism, and peace and conflict in Colombia. Fattal’s insightful text offers critical reflection on the genre of participatory photography and the structural challenges faced by similar media projects.


  • Shooting Cameras for Peace / Disparando Cámaras para la Paz is more than a particularly profound reflection on a haunting gallery of photographs. The project in Colombia and this bilingual publication, in which aesthetics and academics engage in a fruitful dialogue, will serve as a model and a guide for arts interventions in a range of genres and environments and will resonate widely among activists and potential allies.

    —Doris Sommer, author of The Work of Art in the World


  • 2021, Winner of the John Collier Jr., Award for Still Photography


  • Alexander L. Fattal is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California San Diego. He is author of Guerrilla Marketing: Counterinsurgency and Capitalism in Colombia and director of the films Limbo and Trees Tropiques.
  • Doris Sommer is Director of the Cultural Agents Initiative, and Ira and Jewell Williams Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University.
  • Maria Clemencia Ramirez is Senior Researcher at the Instituto Colombiano de Antropologia e Historia and Professor of Anthropology at Universidad de los Andes, Bogota

Book Details

  • 252 pages
  • 10-3/4 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Peabody Museum Press
  • Afterword by Doris Sommer
  • Photographs by Young People of Altos de Cazucá