PhD student, Social and Cultural Analysis, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Concordia University

Human Rights and Social Justice Museologist, Researcher, Consultant

Adriana is a museologist, researcher, and consultant in human rights, social justice, and museology with extensive international experience. She is interested in the social impact of museums and the development of a framework of human rights for museums in connection with community building for the strengthening of human rights and the advancement of equality and social justice. Currently, she directs ElevateMuse which is a research and consulting initiative she founded to contribute to the development of the museology of social justice and human rights and to help transform museums into communities of practice. Since 2017, through ElevateMuse, she is developing a pilot project to explore an inventive framework of human rights museology. This curatorial work is co-produced as an oral history collection project with the collaboration of the Colombian diaspora community, with an emphasis on a feminine perspective, around the memory movement and the current justice, peace, and reconciliation processes of Colombia —post-conflict phase. At Concordia University’s Ethnography Lab she also co-initiated a Working Group devoted to researching Human Rights. The research group’s current project is a study of the ethnography of the McCord Museum’s approach of Human Rights in the exhibition Shalom Montreal.

In her 20 years of work in the museum field, Adriana created and directed the Department of Communications at the National Museum of Colombia and served as Associate Vice-President of Cultural Programs at the Museum of Latin American Art in Los Angeles, California. In Canada, she also worked at the Royal British Columbia Museum, collaborated with the first international exhibition of the Museum of Memory and Human Rights of Chile in Montreal Lieu de la mémoire : un musée contre l’oubli, curated the Temporary Museum of Memory and Solidarity with the Colombian community in Quebec, co-curated the exhibition Images and Power: Black Women, and she has provided consulting services to the Montreal Holocaust Museum.

Early in her research career, Adriana volunteered as radio news writer and presenter for the Radiodifusora Nacional program of the Council of Human Right of the Presidency of Colombia and collaborated as a researcher at the International School of Peace Negotiations in Amsterdam. She began investigating what was known at the time as museology of peace and reconciliation in relation to memory and identity construction, with Dr. Peter van Mensch as research adviser. In 2000, she presented her M.A. research project on Museology of Peace and Reconciliation for Colombia through Indigenous Intangible Spiritual Heritage at the international museology course The Role of Museums in the Development of Peace and Tolerance, in Dubrovnik, Croatia, organized by Dr. Martin Segger (University of Victoria) and Dr. Ivo Maroević (University of Zagreb). In 2002, her work was presented as cutting edge research at the International Council of Museums (ICOM) in Paris, by Dr. Piet Pouw, former ICOM Interim Secretary-General of ICOM. She has since continued her research in connection with community building, social justice, and human rights.

Additionally, in 2009 Adriana taught exhibitions and public programs development at the University of San Diego, USA, and in 2013 she joined the research group of Human Rights Museology directed by Dr. Jennifer Carter at the Université du Québec à Montréal, where she collaborated researching the Museum of Memory and Human Rights of Chile and the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. She has also curated exhibitions, participated as author and co-author of various publications, and lectured at international conferences. Adriana founded ClevesBooks to help women writers to publish on issues of human rights and social justice. Currently Adriana is the Leadership Workshop Instructor at the Graduate Professional Skills Program, Concordia University.

Adriana holds an M.A. in Museology from the Amsterdam University of the Arts-Reinwardt Academy, Netherlands. She also holds a Graduate specialization in Cultural Management from the Universidad del Rosario, and a B.A. in Social Communication and Journalism from the Universidad Javeriana, Colombia.
She is now pursuing a doctoral degree in Social and Cultural Analysis (Sociology and Anthropology) at Concordia University, with Dr. Meir Amor, Dr. Heather Igliorte and Dr. Christine Jourdan as advisors. Her doctoral research builds on her M.A. thesis and focuses on the movement of museums as agents of social change, combining advocacy with memory, and geared to address issues of reconciliation, social justice and human rights education, in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples.

Adriana is exploring how museums can contribute to bringing about lasting social, moral and spiritual transformation in connection with social movements, grassroots activism and Indigenous approaches. Her perspective responds to the need of, first, developing an effective system of global justice with international institutions as part of an evolutionary process and, second, the necessity of building a spiritualized world culture that will enable human dignity to be realized.