Antropología pública y comprometida: el legado de Nina S. de Friedemann

Translated title of the contribution: Public and Engaged Anthropology: The Legacy of Nina S. de Friedemann

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Nina S. de Friedemann (1930-1998) was a public anthropologist. She practiced engaged research, with a view to promoting social justice for the communities with whom she collaborated and studied, and she anticipated the public anthropology of the North Atlantic academia by five decades. Nina S. de Friedemann was a pioneer in Afro-Colombian studies and in visual anthropology. Her professional emphasis was on documenting and defending the cultural contributions of black populations to the identity of an ethnically diverse Colombia. The work of this pioneer was fundamental and inspired leaders of the black communities in their demands that culminated in Law 70 of 1993, also known as the ley de negritudes. Her research materials are housed at the Luis Ángel Arango Library under the name Fondo Nina S. de Friedemann, a repository now cataloged and available for study. In the context of the fund’s launch, Greta Friedemann-Sánchez reflected on her mother’s legacy as a publicly engaged scholar. She reviewed unpublished materials, correspondence, publications, and photographs by Nina S. de Friedemann. This article reviews three pillars of Friedemann’s ethical legacy: the recording and documentation of research and public advocacy data, the historical and public record of the application of research to the direct benefit of people’s needs, and the repatriation of research results in a variety of registers to disseminate results to a broad range of audiences in an attempt to change cultural norms and promote public policies for social justice. These pillars are reviewed within the contemporary normative framework for the protection of human subjects and the historical context during which she worked as an anthropologist.

Translated title of the contributionPublic and Engaged Anthropology: The Legacy of Nina S. de Friedemann
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)23-50
Number of pages28
Issue number46
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Universidad de los Andes, Bogota Colombia. All rights reserved.


  • Colombian anthropology
  • Engaged anthropology
  • Ethics
  • Historical archives
  • Public anthropology


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