Las Socias: A Feminist Video Game for Peacebuilding
Catalina Delgado Rojas
We are inaugurating our project A Cultural Practice Postcard From… with a short review on the Colombia’s first feminist, popular and revolutionary video game, Las Socias.
Las Socias is part of Mesa Verde, an intervention of the space Fragmentos, Espacio de Arte y Memoria during 2021. Artist Ana María Millán, Las Andariegas Corporation and the poet Tarsila Beita collaborated on this multidisciplinary and multiformat project. Mesa verde includes six watercolours by Ana Maria Millan, six poems by Tarsila Beita and the video game Las Socias (Millan and Las Andariegas, 2021).
In a post-accord scenario and politaclypolarized society, Las Socias (Colombian for female partners, colleagues, peeps, etc.) advocates for peacebuilding from a popular and insurgent feminist perspective. This intervention also introduces a different process of creation and engagement with the actors, institutions and space in Fragmentos. More than a collaboration or a proposal featuring the participation of transitional justice actors such as victims and excombatants, this work focuses on a co-authorship with a gender approach.
Ana Maria Millan states that her work is deeply influenced by collaborative practices and role-playing experiences such as Helena Productions, The Festival of Performance in Cali and The School of Knowledge and Practices (Diaz, 2006; Millan, 2021). Las Andariegas, a feminist collective of women and non-binary people, is dedicated to creating communication projects via gender-based perspetives (Las Andariegas, 2022). The collective has addressed topics concerning gender-related violence, Human Rights violations, peace building and conflict resolution, environmental education, community building and self-management. One of their leading projects is Las Andariegas Radio, a podcast in which they discuss how these issues affect women in the global south.
From Las Socias’ perspective, rather than a point of convergence, Fragments was a space of expansion of their feminist project (Millan and Las Andariegas, 2022). Consequently, a broader network of feminist collectives supported the production and dissemination of the artistic intervention. Essential tasks for the production of this videogame such as food, transport and other caring activities articulated other feminist collectives and independent grassroots initiatives. Persea sasa de Comida Vegana, Colectivo de Mujeres Muralistas, Teji Manchon colectiva serigrafica, were part of the groups participating in the project. The poet Tarsila Beita came to Bogotá to record the poems inspired by each of the Personajas. During the process, the budget was redistributed collectively among the participants, prioritising the financial needs and caring responsibilities.
The podcast and the videogame articulate women’s communal stories (historias del común) and memory pills of Colombian history (píldoras para la memoria). The creation of the Personajas was developed in different workshops and coordinated by members of the collective representing the diversity of women in the territory. In the game the Personajas have the power to transform matter to engage with problems affecting the country’s different region.
As an initiative aiming to enlarge and amplify their feminist project, Las Socias underlines the importance of self-representation, collaboration and pleasure while unveiling women ‘stories and structural inequalities. The game is free to download in XBOX, and will soon be available in other platforms. If you are interested in supporting this project, you can visit their website or get in touch with the collective.
Culturama, Cuellar Ramos, I., Natagaima, n.d. Lanzamiento del juego Las Socias, primer video juego feminista [WWW Document]. Teusaradio. URL https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?ref=watch_permalink&v=395363202005127 (accessed 2.17.22).
Diaz, W., 2006. Una Versión de la Historia de Helena Producciones [WWW Document]. Helena Producciones. URL http://www.helenaproducciones.org/cv_quienes_son_helena.php (accessed 2.17.22).
Las Andariegas, 2022. Corporación Las Andariegas [WWW Document]. Las Andariegas. URL https://www.lasandariegas.org/ (accessed 2.17.22).
Las Andariegas, 2021. Podcast. Las Andariegas Radio. https://www.lasandariegas.org/radio-feminista/ (accessed 2.17.22).
Millan, A.M., 2021a. Ana Maria Millan CV [WWW Document]. URL http://anamariamillan.info/ (accessed 8.10.21).
Millan, A.M., Las Andariegas, 2022. Entrevista sobre Mesa Verde con Ana Maria Millan y Las Andariegas.
Millan, A.M., Las Andariegas, 2021. Las Socias.
Millan, A.M., Las Andariegas, Beita, T., 2021. Mesa Verde.
Catalina is a Colombian PhD student at the Institute of Cultural Practices at the University of Manchester. She holds a BA in Political Sciences, a MA in Social Anthropology from the University of the Andes, and a MA in Museology from the National University of Colombia. Her previous work as a researcher has been focused on women in sports, public heritage and digital humanities and gender approach in Latin American museums. She has professional experience in the cultural sector in Bogotá developing educational workshops, curating exhibitions, creating community heritage projects, and assorting provenance archives. In 2019, she was part of the education and public activities team in Fragmentos. Her research is concerned with state-sponsored museums and memorials as a symbolic reparation strategy in transitional societies. Email: Catalina.firstname.lastname@example.org