Juan Manuel Gomez Serna (Mr Klaje Collective)
- Job title: Phase 2 Project Partner
- Location: Cali, Colombia
- YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvvTLvwEskqDRqCvw6oVrNg
- Twitter : @MrKlaje
Juan Manuel Gomez Serna is one of the Founders and Project Coordinator of Mr. Klaje Collective, a group of musicians and educators who have worked in musical-educational projects for more than ten years based in Cali, Colombia. As alumni of the music school at the Popular Culture Institute in Cali, Valle del Cauca, the Collective initially began as a percussion group that used recycled materials to produce music. Other instruments such as electric guitars and bass guitars were later built and the group started performing in Colombia and other countries of Latin America, sharing alternative lyrics that invite people to reflect on social and environmental issues. By 2014, the group started exploring other options and besides music, the founders Julián García and Juan Manuel Gómez designed a program called “The Rubbish Road”. Through this program, Mr. Klaje Collective has provided training workshops on music and basic construction of instruments with recycled materials to underserved and vulnerable groups. In 2017 “The three Rs of Peace”, a social and educational music programme was successfully carried out in Quibdó. Through these projects, Juan Manuel has worked with artists of different disciplines, teachers, families, young people and community leaders through musical and participatory approaches in processes of environmental sustainability. Currently, he facilitates reconciliation activities with ex-combatants and former gang members in Cali. He strongly believes in the importance of music and culture in Colombia’s ongoing peacebuilding process.
Juan Manuel Gomez Serna is a partner on the Phase 2 Large Grant project ‘Cuál es la verdad? (What is the Truth?) De-constructing collective memories and imagining alternative futures with young people in Chocó through music and arts’ (Colombia).