The term ‘reintegration’ is one that assumes the return to a particular state, but what if we find that state no longer exists. What do we do then? Are we returning or transitioning? On November 24th 2016 in Colombia, a Peace Deal was signed with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which sought to disarm combatants and reintegrate ex-guerilla solider back into society after a conflict that has continued between the State, paramilitaries and guerrilla groups for over 50 years.

What makes this conflict even more complex is the role of women during this time, some suggest up to 40% of soldiers in the FARC were women, breaking boundaries of traditional gender norms and taking upon them masculine roles in hopes of securing a better future. What can be seen to be praised and revolutionary in terms of establishing a women’s role somewhere traditionally masculine is that the realities can be far from the image. The FARC spoke on equality, which in some areas was given yet in others not, and many women now find themselves returning to a society where such gender norms are re-established.

Gender, however isn’t just women. How do portrayals of masculinity perhaps hinder reintegration of male ex-combatants. Have the state perhaps failed to deal with the psycho-social issues for both genders to deal with the many emotions that come after war, such as loss. Perhaps the greatest issue comes from the polarised belief that those who need to change are the ex-combatants. Is a collective change needed for all of society to deal with what each person has lost, a collective mourning and effort for change and inclusion is perhaps the only way the conflict may end.

My thanks to Professor Alan Norrie (Warwick); Dr María Estrada Fuentes (Royal Holloway) and Professor Juana García Duque (Los Andes, Bogotá)

YouTube Audio Library

Laid Back Guitars by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (

Facile by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (


Evening Fall Harp by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (


Somber by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (


Long Road Ahead by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (


Icons8 Music –

  • My Defence/My War by This Cold Normandy
  • STILL by Dream Machine
  • First Rain by Ilya Truhanov
  • Miracle by Ilya Truhanov
  • El Amor En Espanol by Under Influence
  • Autumn by Dream Machine
  • Day by Kuzzzo



BBC Sound Effects –

  • Fruit and vegetable market, Quibdo (town in Pacific lowlands W Colombia) (Credit to: BBC Sound Effects)
  • Street,Zipaquira (village near Bogota in central Colombia) with traffic (occasionally heavy) ,footsteps,speech and roadworks noise (Credit to: BBC Sound Effects)
  • Sound of machine gun bursts. (Credit to: BBC Sound Effects)
  • Metal Crashing. (Credit to: BBC Sound Effects)
  • Rainforest – 15.30 hrs (Credit to: BBC Sound Effects)
  • Shallow sea – ocean surface, underwater (Credit to: BBC Sound Effects)
  • Exterior – country-yard atmos., chickens scratching around, birdsong, distant children playing, distant motor traffic occasionally (rec. nr Bulgarian border, Romania). (Credit to: BBC Sound Effects)
  • Raking grass. (Credit to: BBC Sound Effects)
  • Trimming grass with shears. (Credit to: BBC Sound Effects)
  • Enthusiastic cheers, applause & shouting, medium-sized group. (Credit to: BBC Sound Effects)
  • Frying an egg. (Credit to: BBC Sound Effects)
  • Footsteps, one pair of feet running away on gravel. (Credit to: BBC Sound Effects)
  • Street fighting, tanks, Priest self propelled guns, enemy shells landing – 1945 (500X) (Credit to: BBC Sound Effects)



Journal Articles

  • A, ‘Militarised Gender Performativity: Women and Demobalization in Colombia’s FARC and AUC’, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada, 2012 pg 32-171
  • R, R. Morrell, ‘Hegemonic masculinity: combining theory and practice in gender interventions’, Culture, health & sexuality, (17 Suppl 2: s112-27), 2015
  • R, ‘Gender and Power: Society, The Person and Sexual Politics’, (University California Press, 1987)
  • K, ‘Reconstructing Masculinities: The Disarmament, Demobalization and Reintegration of Former Combatants in Colombia’ (Human Rights Quarterly, Vol 31, No 1, 2009) pg 2-32
  • Estrada-Fuentes. M, ‘Affective Labours: Love, Care, Solidarity in Social Reintegration of Ex-Combatants in Colombia’ (Lateral Journal of the Cultural Studies Association, Iss 5.2, 2016)
  • Estrada-Fuentes. M, ‘Becoming Citizens: Loss and Desire in the Social Reintegration of Guerilla Ex-Combatants in Colombia’ in ‘Gendered Citizenship’ Dutt. B, Reinelt. J, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)
  • R, S. Stein, ‘The FARC’s Collective Reincorporation Project: It’s Impact on Colombia’s DDR’ (Social Science Research Council, Jul 2019 pg 1-8