we used to head the messages we send in the public university. And I begin this letter with this expression, since it is from a university in this category from where I am writing.
Although I should specify that I do it from my home, or from an office, or from a soccer field or from a reading room, or from a laboratory, or from a cafeteria, or from a sales post, or from a demonstration of protest All these places, and others, of course, represent the University of Antioquia, which is where I write these lines.
I am tempted to tell you, moreover, that I am writing to you from Plato’s Academy, from the Aristotelian Lyceum, from the medieval university that would later become Renaissance and then modern and later postmodern. I write from these spaces of knowledge, to some extent utopian, that have come together, due to the historical evolution of societies, in this university of ours that we call with the name of an Asian region, but which is deeply Colombian.
And I mention the word utopia, Mr. Mayor, because a public university, such as the University of Antioquia, has many profiles of those cultural constructions that men have devised to try to live better in a natural and social world plagued with difficulties.
To begin, then, let me tell you that the University of Antioquia is a space that is thought and believed to be plural and is therefore essentially democratic, that is, it acts as coordinates where the egalitarian and respectful exchange of ideas vibrates. I do not say that freedom is fully exercised in it, but we try, who study, teach and work there, that the acquisition of it marks our daily course.
I would also like to tell you, Mr. Mayor, that I am writing with a certain awareness of belonging to this university. I work, I live, I research, I think, I write about it 18 years ago. This experience gives me the security to conclude that I know her a lot.
That I understand these parts of human knowledge, debate and intellectual controversy, where today the latest advances in computer science and the ancestral wisdom of the native peoples of Colombia are embraced.
Now, with each passing day, I am more oriented to pacifism and from this existential trench I currently reject violent positions. This does not mean that I approve institutions entrenched in the military order, let alone incline to support state excesses.
On the contrary, both violence seem disastrous to me, both the governmental ones and those who protest under the hood and the potato bombs. And I reject them because they simply threaten human dignity. It is therefore, and I ask you to understand it this way.
From my status as a university pacifist, from my watchman as a citizen pacifist, from my position as a pacifist artist who wrote these words to you. And I write them because I would like to convey certain issues with due respect.