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This seminar will feature Dr Esther Ojulari, Co-Director of the Baobab Centre for Racial, Gender and Environmental Justice in Cali, Colombia.  She is also advisor to the Colombian Vice-Presidency on issues of reparations and racial justice and a member of the secretariat to Colombia’s new National Reparations Commission.  

The past few years have seen important and significant advances in the call for reparations for the crimes and lasting legacies of colonialism, slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. Legal cases are being brought in local courts and discussed at international bodies, academic research is exploring the issue from new and innovative perspectives, and universities, museums, businesses and even private families with historic responsibilities in the transatlantic slave trade are beginning to enter into the global conversation on reparations. Afro-descendant organizations and movements that historically lead struggles for reparations, often facing huge push back and criticism from governments and wider society alike, are beginning to see the consolidation of a global movement for reparations. 

The call for reparations for Afro-descendant peoples in the region of Latin America has been part of local Afro-descendant rights agendas for many decades, although often invisibilised.  However, with the issue of reparations being incorporated into the current Colombian government’s agenda under the leadership of Vice President, Francia Marquez Mina, who recently launched the region’s first National Reparations Commission conversations on the issue have been brought to the forefront. This seminar will look at some of the opportunities and challenges for a reparations agenda in Colombia in this new global context. 

This event is co-hosted by the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and the Human Rights Consortium, School of Advanced Study, University of London.  

Image: Artwork image by © Gloria Ojulari Sule artist, 2021