The Coloniser and the Colonised

In 1510 the Spanish Conquistadores arrived on the Colombian coast, a seminal event that was to change the course of a nation. This is a project which looks at the ramifications of the Spanish conquest 500 years later. It tells the story of a combined history through the thoughts of both peoples, Colombians and Spaniards.

Ana, Spain. I don’t believe in colonisers, or the colonised. I believe in being human.

Genny, Colombia. Much of what characterises us culturally today was caused by the quality of the people sent to colonise us, who were mainly thieves, people with little or no appreciation of human life. It is a shame that being a civilised culture they only focus on our riches.

Maria Angeles, Spain. I don’t feel very proud of what they did. We weren’t the only colonisers that acted brutally, but there are no excuses.

Maria, Spain. Pizarro invaded Colombia. Societies have always invaded in different ways, sometimes in crueller ways. No one is responsible for human history. We can only learn.

Margie, Colombia. Who are they?

Laura, Spain. Near but far.

Diego, Colombia. Colonised places, conquered minds, transformed ideas, imposed doctrines, and we still have, the same authenticity.

Marta, Spain. A world to discover.

Andres, Colombia. You brought your culture, and ours was condemned to disappear. Now it’s a part of me.

Katia, Spain. United by the same heart. What could separate us? Nothing.

Felipe, Colombia. We didn’t have anywhere to go, eliminated and destroyed in our own land. We were strangers in our own home.

Raquel, Spain. Separated by an ocean. United by a language.

Venus, Colombia. Two cultures meet, separated by the sea.

Francesca, Spain. The hispanic mix allows us to remember a sad past, to enjoy a rich present and to dream of a bright future.

Diana, Colombia. This moment changed the lives of Spaniards and Colombians. Some people think they took everything from the natives, but I think the Spanish gave the natives the opportunity to discover new worlds that they couldn’t have ever imagined.

Laura, Spain. I don’t feel like a coloniser.

Milena, Colombia. The best legacy that the Spanish Empire gave us; our language!

If you are interested in using any of these images please contact me at All photographs copyright of Raphael Schutzer-Weissmann. Any use requires permission. Thank you. © Raphael Schutzer-Weissmann


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