Jorge L. Arcia Durán


Barrancabermeja, Colombia


B.A. in Anthropology, Universidad de Antioquia


Material cultural and heritage, urban landscapes, configuration of Latin American nation-states, museum representation, cultural policies and democracy, Latin American history of art, cultural disclosure and social appropriation


Understanding Colombia’s cultural diversity, together with an enthusiasm for the in-depth study of what makes us human beings was what motivated me to study my Undergraduate Degree in Anthropology. During my academic and professional development, this interest has become centered on analyzing how and why certain tangible goods in different cultures (artefacts, sculptures, paintings, and buildings) are defined today as national cultural heritage.

Since an early age, familiarizing myself with the concept of cultural heritage brought me to volunteer as a guide-mediator at the Museum of Antioquia’s arts collections. I then decided to participate in an academic exchange program through the Archaeology program at Universidad Externado de Colombia; back then, I was equipped to return to my alma mater and get involved in field work and some other courses led by Alba N. Gómez, professor working on landscape archaeology and identity. Altogether, these experiences broadened my vision of both past and contemporary practices, and current research in social science.

Towards the end of my undergraduate career, working on a research proposal headed by the Department of Anthropology at Universidad de Antioquia in 2018, and then my three years’ experience as archeological assistant in different regions in Colombia, have allowed me to understand the rich of the country’s cultural heritage and the importance of better sharing of cultural goods, considering the particular development of territories and their communities. I am convinced that interpretation, construction and disclosure about material culture and heritage is key to get to know who we are and to imagine new roads in cultural recognition.