The Medicinal Plants series explores the imaginaries and contemporary links that we establish with the plant diversity of our territory, as well as the interaction of plant and mineral organisms as a single ecosystem in the global context of climate change. Plants articulate us with the mineral world, connecting through their roots the bark of the earth with the world of the atmosphere. In this interaction they produce oxygen and capture carbon, as well as create substances for food and medicinal use that allow us to inhabit the earth.
Exploring the relationships that we have established with plants in our environment opens up a historical perspective, not a human narrative. A point of view that also allows us to overcome the dualism of culture and nature. Plants in Peru have been the protagonists of many processes and transformations of our society. In the colonial era, much of the knowledge linked to sacred local plants was forbidden by the church. Later on, during the modernization process of the country, through the agro-industrial activity, extractive relations were established with plants such as rubber, cotton and sugar.
Looking at plants allows us to reveal mechanisms and policies of exploitation imposed on plant organisms. In spite of this, many of the emotional links with plants have resisted the processes of colonization and globalization, and persist in everyday activities and spaces such as popular markets, the elaboration of handicrafts, gastronomy, traditional natural medicine, architecture and psychotropic uses (magic-ritual); all of which are still present in many communities in the Andes and the Amazon. Directing our gaze to local plants implies recovering local knowledge and imagination and establishing new relationships that allow us to preserve the ecosystems we inhabit, many of them forgotten and gone extinct during the colony, industrial modernity and globalization.
Medicinal plants is part of the project ‘The Material of the landscape’. See more in:
The Material of the Landscape
Grey granite from Huaycán