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Fiction has always been my way of making sense of the world, both reading and writing it. Before becoming an anthropologist, I studied literature. This background informs my academic work, and conversely, my research experiences in Colombia and elsewhere have transformed and influenced my creative writing and storytelling. Anthropology and literature have much in common; both draw from and speak to the variety of human experience, and both transport us to other ways of living and seeing—more crucial than ever in a politically divided world.

Creative Writing




2024. ‘Between Two Worlds’, in Otherwise Magazine.

Camilo is the son of a proud cattle-rancher, known for standing up to armed groups on the road. His life changes when he moves across the country and meets people with very different experiences of the war, helping him see his own experiences with new eyes.

See also: Author Q&A with Otherwise Magazine on the story behind the story: 

2023. ‘The Artist’s Subject’, in Flash Fiction Magazine. READ FREE:

An elderly artist and his wife have witnessed a terrible massacre in a small town, and he considers his responsibility to render what he saw in a painting. But will he ever get started?

2023. ‘Where’s My Freedom of Movement?’ In Critical Muslim 48: 216-231. Order: A march against “15 minute cities” in Oxford drives a wedge between the narrator and their cousin, a vegan digital nomad and anti-vaxxer, and the narrator ponders resonances between polarisation in the UK and Colombia.

2023. 'Milena’, in Confluence: A Literary Magazine, 14: 66-70. 

A woman in Colombia whose father was killed by the guerrilla finds herself divided from her family over a referendum on a peace deal which seeks to end fifty years of war.

2014. ‘Two Rivers’. In The Dublin Review 56: 29-40.  The narrator takes part in a search for a murdered land activist in Colombia, and remembers a former Cuban boyfriend back in London. Story pdf:

2017. ‘Asunción’. In Capitals: A Poetry Anthology. Bloomsbury. 

2023. ‘Peace and Cocoa’, in The Fine Chocolate Industry Association Chocolate Glossary. 
A short reflection on the ways that global cocoa production can contribute to peacebuilding around the world, using the case of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó.

2020. ‘The Narrative Wars: A Conversation with Juan Gabriel Vásquez’, 6 April 2020, Los Angeles Review of Books 

An interview with Colombian novelist Juan Gabriel Vásquez on his fiction, the idea of “narrative wars” in the Colombian peace process, and its relevance for considering so-called ‘post-truth’ politics around the world.

2018. ‘Organic’. In Aroop: Totems and Taboos, 3(1): 174-7. - CLICK HERE to read

A short prose piece interspersed with images about the concept of ‘the organic’, the intertwinement of social, political and natural relations in the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó in Colombia, based on excerpts of Chocolate, Politics and Peacebuilding: An Ethnography of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, Colombia.

2015. ‘The Banana Republic of Urabá’. In Doherty de Novoa, Caroline, Richard McColl and Victoria Kellaway (eds), Was Gabo an Irishman? Tales from Gabriel García Márquez’s Colombia. Papen Press, pp53-68
A literary essay in which Gwen Burnyeat tells the story of how she came to work in Colombia, from human rights work in Peace Brigades International to becoming an anthropologist studying the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, in the conflict-torn region of Urabá.

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