Violentology: A Manual of the Colombian Conflict combines over ten years of investigation and photographic documentation by the author with historical images to create a formidable historical document and a classic of war reportage. Violentology was awarded the inaugural Tim Hetherington Prize, given by World Press Photo and Human Rights Watch to support the long-term documentation of human rights issues.
The title refers to the brilliant school of Colombian sociologists known as ‘los Violentologos’, who study political violence and civil war. The historian Dr. Gonzalo Sánchez writes the introduction. María Teresa Ronderos, journalist and founder of the ground-breaking investigative site, verdadabierta.com, contributes a closing essay about the possibility of peace in her country. Text by the author is based on interviews and observation; and on research by Colombian and international journalists and prosecutors. Max Schoening contributed valuable assistance as an investigator.
This tabloid-size book is designed to engage the sense of touch as well as sight, in reference to the act of reading a newspaper. Violentology was printed on the rotary press of the Bogotá daily, El Espectador, which became world-famous after Pablo Escobar bombed the newspaper’s offices in 1989. This press uses a prize-winning “heat-set” process, which bakes soy-based ink hard onto the page. The paper is 70 gram weight “Bulky” newspaper stock. The inclusion of images by Colombian news photographers further grounds this work in the tradition of press photography.