The Santo Domingo Centre of Excellence for Latin American Research

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The Santo Domingo Centre of Excellence for Latin American Research at the British Museum and its affiliates hope to challenge the ways in which Latin America is commonly represented and studied in museums.

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 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 stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and we invite our audience to engage us in a conversation about how we can best support the movement.

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.