Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



Young Colombian musicians promote peace

Colombian artist Yuliana Andrea Torres (C) performs during the "Paz al Oido" concert at the Centre of Remembrance, Peace and Reconciliation in Bogota on December 14, 2023.   -  
Copyright © africanews
RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP or licensors


Afro-Colombian rhythms from the Pacific (western Colombia), Indigenous instruments from the Sierra Nevada (northern Colombia), rap, and vallenato (north-eastern Colombia) coming together in a single song, a cry against violence.

A group of 40 Colombian musicians from regions most affected by the violence met in Bogota as part of the "Paz al Oido" project which translates as the "peace in the ear".

"Instruments are also a weapon, a violin is a weapon, every instrument that one plays is a weapon to generate music, and through music to create peace, which is what we are looking for at this time," Yuliana Andrea Torres said.

"Instead of taking the other dangerous weapons that can harm other people, we take a weapon that inspires us and inspires others."

The "Paz al Oido" project was set up by the national body in charge of producing peace-building policies in a country which has experienced over 50 years of armed conflict.

To amplify their message, 16-year-old Torres and her co song writers came up with a strategy.

"For us to promote peace, we have to look for music styles that not only suit adults, but also young people," the teenage says.

"I told a mate: I know that young people like rap a lot, and if we make a rap that talks about peace, we can call more young people, and if we put also ballad, we call adults, so both in one song."

At least 130 minors aged 11 to 17 were recruited by armed groups in Colombia according to a report by the UN chief on children and war.

In addition to the peaceful message, concert attendees commended the celebration of Colombia's rich musical heritage.

"I think it was an experience full of emotions, a reflection of all the cultures that we have in this country (Colombia), that peace can be built only with many voices."

The December 14 concert took place at the auditorium in the Memory, Peace and Reconciliation Centre of Bogota.

The musicians have become sources of inspiration back in their hometowns.

Singer Yuliana Torres says is also a vocation. In her town she puts her to talents to serve peace: she teaches music to children and is a community council member.

View more