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By Felipe Cala Buendía

In Argentina, Colombia, and Peru, there was an out-pouring of popular-performative actions that experience requested electorate to pose questions about the social order and concerning the thoughts of modern atrocities. Cala Buendía appears at ways that cultural manufacturers tailored or built concepts as assets for social actors to exploit for switch.

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It included such diverse measures as controlling the most salient risk factors for violence, namely the bearing of firearms and the consumption of alcohol; reconfiguring the institutional setting for policy formulation, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation; and restructuring and strengthening the Metropolitan Police. These initiatives were all brought together under the rubric cultura ciudadana (culture of citizenship), a public policy package through which Mockus embraced his role as an educator, not only bringing to his administration a new style of governance, but also effecting a change in the way people understood and exercised their citizenship.

And their being out of place is what prompted the citizenry to realize that other things were also out of place: their lack of awareness not only of their rights, but also of their responsibilities, as with the pirinola; their incapacity for self-regulation, as with the pantomimic traffic cops and the tarjetas ciudadanas; or their reliance on weapons and firearms for self-protection, as with the commemorative tablespoons. Amidst generalized disaffection and profound distrust for traditional politics, these interventions can be accountable for restoring an emotional bond between citizens, between them and the authorities, and between them and the city; shocking them into the realization that there was something flawed in the way they understood and exercised their citizenship.

Hence, what Sommer deems as a renewed respect for the law constitutes a mediated effect of aesthetic estrangement: between the failure of art and the success of policy lies the activation of channels of affective communication that enhanced the state’s embeddedness at the local level. Albeit lacking the clientelistic networks of traditional parties— but also profiting from its independence—the Mockus administration managed to build a broad and powerful coalition that included the media, the middle class, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the political left, the private sector, religious organizations, and technocrats of neoliberal inclinations.

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