Alejandra Azuero-Quijano is an anthropologist, legal scholar, and writer.


Alejandra's Bio

Alejandra Azuero-Quijano is a lawyer and anthropologist, she currently works as Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Swarthmore College in Philadelphia. In her first book, El Paro como teoría: Historia del presente y estallido en Colombia (Herder, 2023), currently being translated to English, Azuero-Quijano conceptualizes the 2021 national strike in Colombia as an "epistemic uprising", an event that articulates histories and time-rhythms, enabling a rethinking of the past to comprehend and update the politics of the present. Her next book project, Forensics of Finance, examines the role of financial forensic expertise in shaping Colombia’s most recent political transition. Azuero-Quijano holds an SJD from Harvard Law School and a PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago. Her academic work has been published in Cultural Anthropology, Filosofía & Co., Grey Room, and PoLAR. Her essays and poetry have appeared on The Philadelphia Inquirer, Al Jazeera, and New American Writing, among others.


El Paro Como Teoría

Herder, Barcelona (2023)
Forthcoming in English

In The Strike as Theory: History of the Present and ‘Estallido’ in Colombia, Alejandra Azuero-Quijano invites us to conceptualize the 2021 national strike that swept the country as an "estallido" or epistemic uprising, an event that articulates national history to time-rhythms that allow us to rethink the past in order to imagine and actualize what is possible in the present. Through her analysis of popular repertoires of resistance and interruption, Azuero-Quijano shows how the national strike reorganized the coordinates through which Colombian politics is understood, imagined, perceived and represented and, by extension, the socio-political reality of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The strike, which began in April 2021 as a reaction against the controversial tax reform promoted by the government in the midst of the pandemic, ended that same year. Yet, as Azuero-Quijano argues, although the protesters are no longer on the street, the historical force of the strike exceeded its duration as an event, launching forms of aesthetic, political, and sense experimentation that are still ongoing.

The Strike as Theory invites us to dwell on the uprising as an event with the potential to change everything: from our politics to our ways of knowing and sensing, as well as our philosophy of history.


2023. El Paro como Teoría: Historia del presente y estallido en Colombia. Barcelona: Herder.

2023. “Ocupar la historia/Occupying History”, Cultural Anthropology: Hotspots (Online).

2023. “A la izquierda del poder/Left of Power” (with Emma Shaw Crane and Juan Pablo Vera). Cultural Anthropology: Hotspots (Online).

2023. “Vivir sin miedo: hacia una política de la vida”, (with María del Rosario Acosta López) Filosofía & Co. No 4.

2021. “Making the ‘World Spectacle Trial’: Design as Forensic Practice at the Nuremberg Trials,” Grey Room, 82.

2021. “Ambigüedad, Ficción e Ironía en el Museo Forense” [“Ambiguity, Fiction and Irony at the Forensic Museum.”] In La violencia y sus sombras en Colombia y México (M. Uribe and R. Parrini, eds.). Bogotá: Universidad del Rosario.

2020. “Inventories, Insurgent Wealth, and Settling Accounts in Post-Agreement Colombia,” Political and Legal Anthropology Review: Emergent Conversations (Online).

Other Publications

Op Ed

2023 "In Point Breeze, the Violence of Gentrification", The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 17

2022 “Francia Márquez: La presidenta negra,” [The Black President] El Espectador, August 7.

2021 “CounterforensicPower and the National Strike,” El Espectador, May 15.

2019 “U.S. Intervention in Venezuela: TheBlind Spot,” El Espectador, February 21.


Forensics of Finance

The Science of Debt and Crime in Colombia

Is an ethnography of the unexpected financialization of the country’s forensic apparatus in preparation for peacemaking. Following the apparently unspectacular work of prosecutors, criminal investigators, and forensic experts the book explores how amidst political transition the state harnessed forensic knowledge as the science of both crime and debt to articulate a vision for settling accounts that aligned historical justice with both capitalist debt and financial risk. Reconceptualizing forensics as the hybrid science of crime and debt, its chapters trace how the legal methods of post-conflict legal accountability enabled a type of speculation with future peace analogous to financial practices centered on calculating and managing risk. Ultimately, the book argues, this process set in motion a new forensic regime that is distinctly Latin American; one that also defines the post-Cold War brand of “transitional liberalism” that remains hegemonic in the region.

Illustrations by Sara Vélez García (Sara DeColores) from her series called Dinero Sucio.

Forensics of Design

Redesigning Crime at the First Global Trial

Is a legal history of Nuremberg as the first global criminal trial. Against the commonly accepted notion that legal aesthetics are subordinated to legal expertise, the book manuscript shows how the practice of designers working for U.S. intelligence agencies shaped the legal project of international criminal justice. Furthermore, it demonstrates how this newly designed forum for global justice rested on a double aesthetic movement: visualizing the Nazi political system through films and charts, while carefully staging the presence of the individually accused inside the courtroom. This study redefines how we understand the making of legal knowledge. It shows that forensics is a design and aesthetic practice that creates the subjects and objects of punishment under criminal law – in this case the representation of Nazi political organization as a criminal conspiracy.

All content and photography © Alejandra Azuero-Quijano

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