Institute of Social Anthropology

Institute of Social Anthropology

María del Pilar Ramírez Gröbli is a research assistant in the project "Social and ecological impacts of palm oil production" at the Institute of Social Anthropology and is an associate researcher at the Center for Global Studies at the University of Bern. She currently coordinates the working group of the Colombian Association of Researchers (ACIS) in German-speaking Switzerland.  She completed her doctoral studies at the University of St. Gallen in 2014 and worked as an assistant at the Institute for Spanish Language and Literature between 2010 and 2014, where she also lectured Spanish. In 2007 she acquired Liz. Phil I in Spanish and Political Science at the University of Zurich. In 1999 she graduated from the Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, with a Master's degree in International Relations, and in 1994 she obtained a Bachelor's degree in Spanish and English Literature from the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional, Bogotá, Colombia. She is a member of the editorial board of the journal Alternautas and participates in various research groups and academic associations. Coming soon is her monograph “Political landscapes of music. Palm Oil Plantation and Peace Cultures in the Colombian Post-conflict" (in Spanish)

Soundscapes of the return. Palm oil, dispossession and cultures of peace in post-conflict Colombia.


This book presents an innovative analysis of the land conflicts arising from large-scale oil palm plantations in Colombia. The study reveals the powerful political dimension of music in the context of the post-conflict that the Colombian country is going through and investigates the local impact of oil palm monocultures in rural areas of Colombia. The research examines strategies, mechanisms and peace-building actions initiated by the forced displaced rural communities to return to their land.

Based on three case studies of communities on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Colombia and the compilation of almost forty unpublished songs - most of them in Vallenato rhythm - composed by the peasant communities, the book brings together the musical productions that have emerged in this context and offers a detailed analysis from within and about rural community processes, examining the role of community culture in conflict transformation.


Edited by Iberoamericana-Vervuert 2020

Die Druckvorstufe dieser Publikation wurde vom Schweizerischen

Nationalfonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung unterstützt.


La edición de este libro ha contado con la ayuda del Fondo Nacional Suizo para la

Investigación Científica.


© Iberoamericana, 2020

Amor de Dios, 1 – E-28014 Madrid

Tel.: +34 91 429 35 22

Fax: +34 91 429 53 97


© Vervuert, 2020

Elisabethenstr. 3-9 - D-60594 Frankfurt am Main

Tel.: +49 69 597 46 17

Fax: +49 69 597 87 43


ISBN 978-84-9192-104-2 (Iberoamericana)

ISBN 978-3-96456-904-2 (Vervuert)

ISBN 978-3-96456-905-9 (e-book)



Diseño de cubierta: Rubén Salgueiros

Depósito legal: M-13362-2020


Social impacts of palm oil production in tropical regions