Guillermo Villamizar

Guillermo Villamizar is an artist, art critic and director of the Colombia Asbestos Free Foundation.

His work is understood from the social practice art, as an emerging, interdisciplinary field of research and practice of contemporary art that pivots on the arts and the humanities, while embracing such external disciplines as urban, environmental, or labor studies; public architecture; and political organizing, among others. Its overall objective is not merely to make art that represents instances of socio-political injustice (consider Picasso’s Guernica), but to employ the varied forms offered by the expanded field of contemporary art as a collaborative, collective, and participatory social method for bringing about real world-instances of progressive justice, community building, and transformation (Sholette & Bass).

In this way, and from the leadership that he exercises in the Colombia Asbestos Free Foundation, he has sought to influence the different instances that participate in the problems of asbestos in Colombia: State Institutions such as Ministries, political component in the Senate of the Republic, media, academia, research and international relations.

In 2019, together with other organizations and institutions of society, asbestos was banned in Colombia through law 1968 of the same year.

Since then, his work has been focused on providing accompaniment to the regulation of the law that came into force in January 2021.

Two aspects of the 1968 law such as the identification, surveillance and monitoring of the exposed population and public policies for the management of asbestos abatement have been on the agenda of stakeholders, and in this way I have sought to provide support and advice to the Colombian government so that the spirit of the norm meets the highest international standards associated with technical and scientific criteria in this area, inspired by the experience and knowledge of countries like Australia that play a key role in the international movement to ban asbestos based on their experience in fields such as medical science and the environment.