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Dictionnaire testimonial et mémoriel


Marie Ines Harté
Traduction de Sarah Voke
p. 190-191
Cet article est une traduction de :
Redignification [fr]

Texte intégral

1From the Spanish neologism (redignificacion), redignification means the process by which the victim of a violent crime can overcome this condition and this status in order to attempt regaining control of their own story. Used and theorised in Colombia by anthropologists, sociologists and by psychologists working with victims of the most recent Colombian armed conflicts (1980-2000), redignification is one the main objectives of the work on memory undertaken at local and national levels, both by the associations of victims, and by public instances and institutions, namely the National Centre of Historical Memory (Centro Nacional de Memoria Historica:

2In a context of generalised violence, the violations of fundamental rights and the resulting denial of the person cause a feeling of shame, humiliation and of powerlessness in the face of violences legitimized by the discourses of armed actors. Memory is meant, here, as a process allowing the creation of both an individual and a social identity as a response to this situation. Thus, in Colombia, organisations and institutions reconstruct the historical memory of the conflict and aim to convert it into a means of redignification for the victims. From exercises as well as from group and individual remembrance support (expressing and sharing memories), the victims try to construct coherent discourses that are supposed to allow them to free themselves from what oppresses them by providing a new interpretation of the events.

3The process of redignification is supposed to unfold in several steps. The narration of their memories brings about a consciousness of the condition of victim, as well as an understanding of the time span and the causality of the events. From then, the reconstruction of coherent narratives should allow a reinterpretation of passed events because of the attribution of new meanings, which should stir a positive feeling of indignation. It is from this feeling that victims are supposed to free themselves from the shame and the guilt in which the acts and speeches of political criminals locked them. They should thus regain the control of their stories, of their lives, and recover a certain amount of self-esteem by affirming themselves as individuals, be able to claim their rights to compensation for damages, and they should better be able to decide their future. Finally, the public expression of memory should bring about the social and political recognition of the pain endured, which ought to theoretically bring closure to the process of redignification.

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Bello, Martha Nubia, ‘Identidad, dignidad y desplazamiento forzado: Una lectura psicosocial’, in Desplazamiento forzado interno en Colombia: Conflicto, Paz y desarrollo, Bogotá: ACNUR – CODHES, 2001.

Grupo de Memoria Histórica – CNRR, Memorias en Tiempo de Guerra: Repertorio de iniciativas, Bogotá, 2009.

Villa, IJuan David, ‘La memoria como territorio en disputa y fuente de poder: un camino hacia la dignificación de las víctimas y la resistencia no violenta’, in ICTJ, Recordar en conflicto: iniciativas no oficiales de memoria en Colombia, Bogotá, 2009.

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Référence papier

Marie Ines Harté, « Redignification »Témoigner. Entre histoire et mémoire, 118 | 2014, 190-191.

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Marie Ines Harté, « Redignification »Témoigner. Entre histoire et mémoire [En ligne], 118 | 2014, mis en ligne le 01 octobre 2015, consulté le 28 février 2021. URL : ; DOI :

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Marie Ines Harté

Facultad de Finanzas, Gobierno y Relaciones Internacionales – Universidad Externado de Colombia.

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