Gender, health and the afterlife of colonialism. Engaging new problematistions to improve maternal and infant survival


  • Dr Jennie Gamlin

    University College London, United Kingdom

Project summary

Our knowledge of Latin America?s past is predominantly based on colonial and governmental sources, side-lining indigenous stories and myths that have been experienced and transmitted orally for generations. Through a collaboration between the British Museum's Santo Domingo Centre of Excellence for Latin American Research (SDCelar) and Indigenous participants we will tell these stories, creating a virtual exhibition examining the coloniality of gender in their communities. Wixárika gender relations and how these were performed and transformed throughout history will be shared using interactive materials, with the aim that researchers, participants and museum users more clearly understand how colonialism shapes experiences of gender and health. Research partners in the UK and Mexico will work with exhibition specialists Múcura and Wixárika participants to record their interpretation of the history of gender. Theatre, narratives and interactive experience-based artwork and will be used to generate content for the virtual exhibition. Evaluation will be formative and embedded, recording participants? experience of analysing historical data and acting on their feedback. Once completed, Global visitors to the exhibition will learn how colonialism intervened with gender structures, participants will understand how colonialism has shaped their experiences of gender, pregnancy and childbirth; and the research team will learn to critically examine their own positionality, facilitating genuinely participatory and decolonising interpretations of their findings. Partnering with SDCelar gives Wixárika communities the ability to influence global knowledge networks and use this engagement to decolonise healthcare in their communities, with the potential for shaping future research and the focus of linked academic publications.