DukeEngage Medellín
La Violencia is Not the Whole Story

A dry run

Today was the last day before we show our films. I spent the entire day in our professors' apartment working. We exported the videos in the highest quality possible, worked on formatting the DVDs, wrote our speeches (to go on before we introduce the films), and printed the programs for the exposition. At the end of the day, we watched the final cuts of some of the films to make sure there were no errors made on the DVDs.

In the morning, I arrived to our meeting feeling very tired (I had stayed out late dancing the night before :) ) but ready for work. It did not seem like there was much to do: burning DVDs, etc. However, it turned out that we spent the entire day with our team working to complete all of the finishing touches. The movies took a very long time to export because of the size of the file, and the high resolution of the film, and burning the DVDs took forever, and then printing took much longer than expected as well.

And now for the printing fiasco! Printing the programs turned out to be a hassle; yet more evidence of how complicated things can be in Colombia. First, we tried printing with the printer my professor owned- but it ran out of ink. They tried to buy ink and three stores, and all of them were out. They then decided to buy another printer (This may seem like kind of an extreme measure, but printing is complicated here. Not many people have a personal computer, and if they do, they usually don't have a printer). However, this printer only worked for about 20 copies of the program before it also broke! Then, we had to go to an internet cafe and print 100 copies, double sided. This took some explaining (about fifteen minutes, lots of waving and hand motions), and eventually the man at the store ended up letting me use the printer (I think once he saw how many copies we wanted to make, he trusted us). He then ended up telling everyone to stop printing so they wouldn't mess up our double-sided printing job. He even said we didn't have to pay for the pages that didn't come out well, and that the important thing is that "our work came out well."

We ended up printing better quality than in the house, with the help of someone very kind. I am excited about our show tomorrow- and our videos will soon be up on youtube!

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Funded by generous grants from Duke University and donations from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, DukeEngage has made it possible for us, a group of six Duke students, to embark on a 7-week civic engagement project, The Historical Memory/Community Literacy Project, in Medellin, Colombia. Our team also includes 57 students from Emerson College in Boston who created a multi-media catalog & a short film "108 things you might not know about medellín".

In collaboration with our directors, Dr. Tamera Marko of Emerson College and Jota Samper of MIT, we are producing 7 short documentaries about various communities in Medellin. We want you know to know that in Medellin, a city in the process of peace, la violencia is not the whole story.

Emerson College Medellin
DukeEngage Colombia 08
Parques Bibliotecas
Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Carlos E. Restrepo
Pajarito Vivienda


Tamera Marko, Ph.D.

Jota Samper