As a Colombian, I have always felt that the African roots of our culture are manifestly present yet rarely discussed. There is an unconscious connection to Africa in my identity as a mestiza woman from a rural background. I know that we eat, dance and speak Africa. I know that we are neighboring continents. I know that Africa is present and hidden at the same time. To help uncover and evoke the role of African tradition in my culture, since 2009 I have gone numerous times to San Basilio de Palenque, an isolated village along the Caribbean coast of Colombia with great importance for the history of the African diaspora in Colombia and the Americas in general.
My documentation centers around the figure of spiritual healers, like doña Rosalina Cañates Pardo, a woman in her 90's whose vast knowledge of plants exemplifies the African legacy in Palenquero medicinal practice. When I first met doña Rosalinda I discovered the key to my connection to Palenque, and the motif of this work. She deeply reminds me of my own grandmother, who transmitted to me an immense respect for plants and their healing and sacred potential. Indeed, doña Rosalinda plants and harvests different species according to the phases of the moon, just like my grandmother did.