This Woman’s Voice Makes World History Intimate to Millions in Spanish



Uribe in one of her history programs. Photograph shared on Google with permission for republication.

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By Laura Vidal (left) / 08.31.2016
Sara Holmes (right, Translator)


For years, Diana Uribe’s colorful and friendly voice made Colombians pause and listen. The world and its events seemed closer, and more lucid, because of her storytelling.

The 57-year-old award-winning radio journalist and world historian is trusted across Colombia. Now, thanks to the Internet, her Spanish audio programs or podcasts on world history have fans and followers across Latin America, and even the world. She started her career at Radio Caracol, with the show “The History of the World,” and now her programs can be accessed through Ivoox, a podcast and radio platform, and even YouTube, where she has more than 75K subscribers.

Her shows on Japan, China, Panama, Spain and the Islamic Revolution on YouTube have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

Uribe explores the connection between history and contemporary events. Her narration focuses on well-known historical characters. With dramatic music interspersed, each episode chooses a region of the world and connects its history to the series of events for which it is known today. Her overall theme connects how we are all really the same and that different regions of the world are only distinct in appearance because of time and space.

Her series on Latin American history is special. In it, writers and musicians who lived through difficult and historical eras are remembered and celebrated. In these episodes, Uribe also makes connections to current events and today’s political dilemmas. In a program dedicated to the history of migration to Argentina, which is part of a series dedicated to the country, the origins of Argentina’s multicultural identity are connected to the migratory problems of today:

[In the age of migrations from Europe to Argentina] there had been opportunities, for everyone. Currently, when migrants brave the Mediterranean, they are fleeing from exactly the same things, from hunger, from wars, from wars that many times are products of European decisions made during the partition of the Ottoman Empire, or from the manner in which they created artificial borders. Today, when those migrants cross the Mediterranean, coming from Syria […] coming from Africa, after the distribution of colonialism and all that has happened to them, after all of the wars that have been created, after September 11, after all of the convulsive geopolitics that has been made, there’s nothing for them. For them there is no land, there are no opportunities, there is no welcome, there are no fields.

And she continues:

For them there are deportations […] For them there is disdain, there is xenophobia […] The Europeans were helped by the entire world. 40 million Europeans were welcomed by the Americas. And now, when Europe is asked for help, Europe responds with barriers, responds with mesh, with walls made of paper or barbed wire. With divisions and separations so as to not help people that, in the past […] in another era had given such to Europe. That is the difference between the migrants that populated Argentina and the migrants who today have converted the Mediterranean into a common grave.

Her other work is also mentioned on her  Wikipedia page:

In 2008, she presented her first audio book, La Historia de las Civilizaciones (The History of Civilization), where she covers some moments from humanity’s history. In 2009, she published her second audio book called, La Historia de las Independencias (The History of the Wars of Independence), focused on the Latin-American wars of independence in the 19th century. In 2011, her third audio book came out, La Historia en los Viajes (History through Traveling), which deals with Russia, Turkey, and South Africa. In 2013, she published the app, El Juego de la Historia (The History Game).

Uribe is a specialist in counter-cultural movements from the 1960s. She is also interested in the continuation of myths and legends in the contemporary collective imagination, and in particular oral tradition.