17 June 2019

The Art of Disaster Risk Reduction


    An arts-based approach to strengthening community and institutional capacity in Colombia.

    Hazel Marsh (PI), Teresa Armijos Burneo (co-I), Roger Few (co-I)

    This project explored innovative ways to engage with ‘at risk’ communities in Colombia, deepening and extending impacts achieved via Moving with Risk: forced displacement and vulnerability to hazards in Colombia.

    The Art of Disaster Risk Reduction used creative arts to strengthen community-led risk management practices in areas at risk of disaster, and to support knowledge exchange between ‘at risk’ communities and decision-makers. Through music, theatre and art, community members co-created and shared knowledge about disaster risk, public policy, and the legal aspects of risk management.

    The project brought together academics from the University of East Anglia (DEV and PPL) and Universidad de Manizales (Department of Social Psychology for Disaster Risk Management), as well as researchers from Human Rights organisation Dejusticia, representatives of the Colombian Red Cross and DRR sections of local municipalities in Colombia.

    Photos by Hazel Marsh.​


    Marsh, H., Armijos, M. T. and Few, R. (2020) ‘‘Telling it in our own Way’: Doing Music-Enhanced Interviews with People Displaced by Violence in Colombia’. New Area Studies 1: 1. https://newareastudies.com/articles/abstract/32/

    Gaitán-Arias, G. (2020). ‘Psychic links with the territory of people who lived forced            displacement due to the armed conflict in Colombia and live in areas of disaster risk in the city of Manizales’. Teoría y Crítica de la Psicología 14, 65–88

    Armijos, T., López Getial, A., and Ramírez Loaza, V. (2019) “Indigenous engagement, research partnerships, and knowledge mobilisation”, URL:

    School of International Development Research Briefing 14, 2019.  https://sites.uea.ac.uk/devresearch/publications/research-briefings

    Franklin, J. 2019. ‘Connecting with Emotions: Exploring the Arts and Valid Research with Displaced Communities in Colombia’, Sentio, South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS)

    Find out more about Postgraduate Research degrees



    Recovery with Dignity (Co-investigator, 2018-2020)​

    This 2-year project, funded under the British Academy’s GCRF Sustainable Development Programme, generates applied knowledge on experiences of recovery in post-disaster settings within India using historical research and creative, participatory methodologies drawn from the humanities and social sciences. The hypothesis of the research is that recovery processes that recognise and respect the dignity of socially-differentiated populations will result in more sustainable responses, minimising ongoing trauma.​

    Moving with Risk (Co-investigator, 2016-2018)​

    This ESRC-funded project focuses on a critical but under-researched theme in studies of forced displacement: the processes through which people forced from their homes by conflict can commonly become exposed to heightened risk from environmental hazards in the places where they resettle. Effectively, such people exchange one form of catastrophic risk for another, often with little real choice in the process. The collaborative project pioneers an innovative methodology using the expressive arts in Colombia, where five decades of conflict have generated what is currently the world's largest population of internally displaced people. 

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