Segovia Youth Commemorate Massacre

In looking for a lead image for our show with Brené Brown, I tweeted out a request for people to send me "shots of vulnerability and shame." I was intentionally vague; I wanted to see how people might run with it. The truth is, I didn't receive that many submissions. I didn't need to.

All because of one powerful photo (above) from Brit Hanson, a poet and digital storyteller living in Barrancabermeja, Colombia. Here's the context as she tells it:

"Several weekends ago, I attended a commemoration of the massacre of 43 people in Segovia, Colombia on November 11, 1988. A group of young men and women from the area performed a theatrical vignette in commemoration of the victims of the massacre.

I love the story this photo tells. The one in which young folks in imminent danger act courageously. The one in which their creative act is a subversive and nonviolent statement of power. The one in which they remember the past and imagine a different kind of future.

These young folks were brilliant and brave and incredibly vulnerable as brutal violence continues in the Segovia community today. I thought this photo really captured the vulnerability of their courageous act of performing in such a volatile context. And that's the irony about vulnerability, isn't it? Vulnerability is always courageous, no matter how grandiose or mundane the expression.

Their vulnerability was performing. Mine was admitting that I was scared to even be there."

Thanks, Brit. It's just what we needed.

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Brit's "Storyboard" link on her web site tells more about Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) working in Barrancabermeja, the folks who stood by the performers at this vigil. CPT-ers are deeply inspired by the teachings and life example of Jesus. They act on the question, "What would happen if Christians gave as much to peace as soldiers give to battle?" Talk about vulnerability that's changing the world! I hope some viewers will read up on CPT:

I am so moved by her statement "Mine was admitting that I was scared to even be there". Is that not the human experience of vulnerability. The risk, the fear, in the face of courage. And, the hope of what lies on the other side.

Thanks so much, Laurel!

Thank yous so much for sharing this, Trent. It means a lot.


Trent thanks for sharing this story from Brit Hanson and Ms. Rossiter, thanks for posting more about the work of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). I've been working with CPT for 9 years and the radical vulnerability of our partners (including the Segovia youth) continue to inspire me. In this advent season, we remember the vulnerability of the incarnation. God become flesh. My wife Charletta has written a number of times about the parallels between the vulnerability of God's incarnation in Jesus and the vulnerability we are called to as peacemakers. Like God come to earth in the baby Jesus, we must depend on love and relationship, rather than domination and control. Here's what Charletta said:

For nonviolent accompaniers, our sources of security come in more vulnerable forms through connection to local partners, through being known, through recognition of our work for peace, through our watching eyes and communication to international channels. We are not a threat, except perhaps to the status quo, but those who would harm us count the cost of doing so when our organization and partners would raise an international stink as we would do for Colombians. It is through connection, not power over others, that brings us security. (full article here: ):

that is one of the most powerful and moving photos I've ever seen; see why you didn't need any others. thanks, too, for sharing the context and story. takes my breath away. literally.

That's not even 10 mniuets well spent!

That's a quick-witted awsner to a difficult question