Colombian Pop Culture Rewind

A great way to learn about a country is to take a look at its popular culture

Photo: Unsplash/@flacaral

Photo: Unsplash/@flacaral

A great way to learn about a country is to take a look at its popular culture. What was on the radio? Who was the biggest star? What was on the country’s radar? In this edition, we will take a look at eight pop culture moments that made history in聽Colombia tick over the course of a century.


Cromos magazine has been a part of Colombian pop culture since it’s inception in 1916. It covers fashion, motherhood, weddings, travel, lifestyle, celebrities, and other topics.



Another publication that has stood the test of time in Colombia is El Siglo (now called El Nuevo Siglo). Although it was closed by the government in 1953,聽due to its opposition to the dictatorship of聽General聽Gustavo Rojas Pinilla, the conservative paper was back in 1957, and has been in publication ever since.



Colombian television broadcasting started on June 13, 1954 (at 9pm to be exact). The first showing included the national anthem, a speech by the presdient, and music from the聽Orquesta Sinf贸nica de Colombia.



Fernando Botero is a world-reknowned artist, self-described as “Colombia’s most Colombian artist.” Before his paintings were fetching over a million dollars, Botero was discovering the exaggerated style that would make him famous. In 1956, he created Still Life with Mandolin. By聽making the instrument’s hole smaller than scale, he blew up the other proportions; in doing so, his iconic style was born.



In 1967, a literary masterpiece was written in Colombia. It was this year that Nobel Prize-winning author, journalist, and screenwriter Gabriel Garcia Marquez created聽Cien a帽os de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude). The novel follows seven generations of the Buendia family in the fictional town of Macondo.聽



Before Super Stereo 88.9 (now known as La聽Superestaci贸n), there was only one other FM pop-rock radio station in existence in the Bogot谩 (Stereo 95-1). The station also played metal, and had a morning show called聽El zool贸gico de la ma帽ana.



Photo: Amazon

Carlos Vives is one of the identifying faces of Colombia, and someone who has dedicated his life to preserving its musical heritage. His homage to vallenato, 1993’s Clasicos de la Provincia (which includes “La gota fria”)聽was a monster hit, becoming the best-selling album of all time in Colombia.



Maria Full of Grace聽(Mar铆a, llena eres de gracia)is an award-winning film about an unwed and pregnant teenager who accepts a job as a drug mule. In 2005, Catalina Sandino Moreno was nominated as Best Actress for her role in the film (among other nominations).

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Colombia Colombian History pop culture
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