Ingrid Betancourt Delivers Annual Eva Holtby Lecture at the ROM

The Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC) at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) presents the seventh annual Eva Holtby Lecture on Contemporary Culture on Monday, December 10, 2012.  This year’s lecture titled Even Silence Has an End features Ingrid Betancourt, who will tell her story of captivity in the Colombian jungle, sharing powerful teachings on resilience, resistance, and faith.

Moderated by Dr. Gaventa from the Coady Institute and St. Francis Xavier University, this year’s event continues to explore ICC at the ROM’s ongoing theme of War and Conflict and coincides with the current exhibition Observance and Memorial: Photographs from S21, Cambodia.

Born in Bogotá and raised in France, Ingrid Betancourt returned to Colombia at the age of  32 to campaign as a candidate in the Colombian presidential election. Her goal was to become the political leader of a country that was slowly being affected by terrorism, violence, fear, and a pervasive sense of hopelessness. In 2002, she was abducted by the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) and spent the next six and a half years in the depths of the jungle as a prisoner.

Betancourt’s lecture at the ROM, which shares the name of her most recent book, Even Silence Has an End, is her deeply personal and moving account of that time. Betancourt tracks her metamorphosis, sharing how she was able to move through the pain of the moment and find a place of serenity in the routines she established for herself – including listening to her mother and two children broadcast to her over the radio and daily prayer.  Set free in 2008 by the Colombian army, today Betancourt is determined to draw attention to the plight of hostages and victims of terrorism throughout the world.

VIP tickets are $50 and include priority seating as well as access to an exclusive reception following the lecture.  General admission tickets are $25 ($23 for ROM Members and $21 for Friends of the ICC) and can be purchased online at

This lecture is supported through the generosity of the Holtby Family. 

The Eva Holtby Lecture on Contemporary Culture

An annual program highlight, the Eva Holtby Lecture on Contemporary Culture brings powerful voices to the Museum to discuss provocative and engaging contemporary ideas. The Eva Holtby Lecture has grown to become a highly-anticipated yearly event, focusing on relevant cultural issues of international scope, and attracting the world's most fascinating speakers. 

Institute for Contemporary Culture

The mission of the Institute for Contemporary Culture (ICC) at the Royal Ontario Museum is to stimulate diverse audiences to think creatively, understand and change the world. Inspired by the mandate and collections of the ROM, the ICC examines living societies and the natural world, linking the present to the past through innovative exhibitions, special events and the creation of dynamic original content using new technologies.  For more information:

Ingrid Betancourt