A Resurgence of the Countryside? Identity and belonging among the war-displaced rural population of Moravia, Medellín

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The impetuous expansion of Medellín’s urban periphery can be attributed predominantly to the massive rural exodus that was brought about by Colombia's armed conflict from the mid-twentieth century onward. The psychological wounds inflicted by traumas such as forced displacement are well-established; they tend to erode the very foundations upon which identities are built and, as a consequence, often go hand in hand with a profound sense of nostalgia. In this context, this thesis aims to evaluate to what extent the rural past of Moravia’s war-displaced inhabitants affects their present-day identity and other senses of belonging. The outcomes largely overlap with the premise of this thesis, showing that there still exists a certain longing and even continued self-identification with their village or region of origin. At the same time, however, the impact of displacement and uprootedness should not be essentialized, since the respondents were also able to reflect positively on their current life in Moravia. What is more, they have even come to identify themselves actively with the place they were condemned to inhabit: Aside from their rural roots, they have found new identity markers in the decade-long struggle for survival that has characterized life in the neighborhood.
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