Plant Ancestors, Coca Relatives

Plant Ancestors, Coca Relatives, 2018. Digital drawings, variable dimensions.

Coca in Quechua means "plant" or "tree". To enter the universe of the coca plant, I produce an extensive bio/graphía that narrates the life of the plant in Andean history. Woven in the survival of the traditions and beliefs of a people experienced in survival, and who have understood the coca leaf as a sacred being. From archaeological findings of its use, botanical records, its representation in precolonial art, its indigenous names, its colonial history in the mines, its demonization by the church, its praise as magic cure-it-all, it's illegalization, to current chemical and botanical studies. The history of the coca plant is a story of the entanglements between capitalism, colonialism and imperialism, but also an inherited record of wisdom and strength.