“The Last Peanut Farmers” is a collaborative project led by community leader Basilia Perez (Benkos Bioho Technical and Agricultural School, Palenque- Colombia) with the support of Amber Henry (University of Pennsylvania).
San Basilio de Palenque is an afro-descendant community founded by former slaves at the beginning of the 17th century. Peanut farming in Palenque is a women’s only practice and is accompanied by oral histories and songs. It was severely affected by guerrilla groups in 2001, and more recently by acculturation, out-migration and discrimination. Basilia Perez and Amber Henry are creating digital audio-visual material to document the work of the last peanut farmers in Palenque. They believe that this project will encourage other women to return to the practice and strengthen the positioning of women as community leaders.
In line with critical museum practice, the Centre pays special attention to projects, such as that conducted by the Benkos Bioho School in Palenque, which otherwise would have limited access to academic funding programmes.
To promote the self-representation of Latin American culture and history within a global museum, the Centre supports research that is not directly related to the museum’s collections. This project addresses an imbalance in the representation of Latin American cultural heritage: It takes into consideration the fact that the British Museum, and many other museums who model their collections on those of this historic institution, do not hold material from creole or afro-descendant groups in the mainland Caribbean.