Shipibo-Konibo kené skirt


©Trustees of the British Museum

The Santo Domingo Centre of Excellence for Latin American Research, based at the British Museum: 



    • Experiments with the ways that museum research is conducted and disturbs traditional representations of Latin America.


    • Supports cultural heritage initiatives that are developed in Latin America and aims to create a network of communities that are interested in the heritage and material culture of the region.


    • Gives Latin American collections greater visibility and seeks to broaden the audiences who typically engage with Latin American contemporary and archaeological material.


The Centre acknowledges the manifold legacies of colonialism that “western” anthropology and history museums embody. It supports cultural heritage initiatives that act as a bulwark against social injustice and heterodoxy.

SDCELAR curators are specialists in archaeological and Indigenous cultures in Latin America, which is reflected in the projects we currently support. We currently welcome applications for small grants and collection research from under represented heritage communities, specifically from projects relating to Afrodescendent communities and cultures. The centre will privilege applications by members of these communities and grassroots projects.



This map provides access to the projects from across Latin America and the Caribbean that are affiliated to the Centre. These projects are contemporary art and heritage research initiatives that show the current innovative perspectives in the study of the culture and history in the region.

The connected points on this diagram geo-reference places that are of cultural significance for local Latin American communities past and present. Some of these points, such as towns and churches, are places that have been constructed by people, while others are special parts of the landscape, such as caves and mountains.

The coloured sections on this map do not correspond to individual countries. We have divided the cultural continent into its four Universally Coordinated Time Zones, from -7 to – 3 UTC. These time zones are cross-divided by cultural and geographical areas; for example, the Andean mountain range or the Caribbean. The resulting territories disregard borders as well as the cultural areas, for example Mesoamerica, that have been previously identified by anthropologists and archaeologists.

Our aim is to illustrate how many of the communities that are affiliated to the Centre – who may identify plurally, as for example diasporic, Indigenous, and Afro-descendent – measure and display the land they live on and its past, present and future differently from the ways employed by museums. As such, the map evokes the alternative knowledges and representations of space and time that have developed in the region.