Institute for Global Health


New Digital Exhibition Unveils "The Coloniality of Gender and Sexuality"

14 December 2023

In a new digital initiative, SDCELAR at the British Museum, is proud to present a captivating exhibition that delves into the heart of Wixárika culture, created and directed by Dr Jennie Gamlin.

Wixarika image

The Coloniality of Gender and Sexuality: How the Intimate Lives of Wixárika People were Changed Forever is a virtual showcase that delves into the gendered history of Wixárika culture. The exhibition uses digital artifacts, multimedia presentations, and interactive elements that provide insights into the Wixárika culture and the coloniality of gender. 

The digital display, supported by the Santo Domingo Centre of Excellence for Latin American Research (SDCELAR) at the British Museum, showcases the findings from Gender, health and the Afterlife of Colonialism: engaging new problematisations to improve maternal and Infant Survival, a Wellcome Trust Funded research project led by Dr Jennie Gamlin. Based on archives, photographs, bibliography and community testimonies as part of the Tuapurie Oral History Project, this research aims to understand how gender has changed through contact between the colonial State and later independent Mexican Republic and Wixárika indigenous communities.

Evidence has been gathered from historical archives, including identifying mass marriages, the use of 'confessionary' by the Spanish crown to aid evangelisation processes and meticulous revision of missionaries reports dating back to the 17th Century. These archive searches are supported by an oral history project exploring how gender has changed over time.

Throughout the exhibition, visitors have the opportunity to examine Who are the Wixáriti or Huichol, What is the Coloniality of Gender, The Evangelisation of Intimate Life, Patriarchy and Ethnocide in the New Republic, Nation, Revolution and the Modernisation of Patriarchy and Wixárika Women and Gender in the Indigenous 21st Century. 

The animated film by textile artist Susie Vickery tells the full story of the Coloniality of Gender  narrated in Wixárika with animated embroidery and Wixárika yarn paintings. Susie has exhibited her work worldwide and won awards for her animated films including the Christine Risely Award and People’s Choice Favourite film.

The exhibition is available globally for free in Spanish and English and has narrations in Wixárika. It has been made possible through collaboration with the Santo Domingo Centre of Excellence for Latin American Research (SDCERLAR) at the British Museum.

Visit the exhibition website at https://www.sdcelarbritishmuseum.org/exhibitions/the-intimate-lives-of-wixarika-people/ to commence your exploration of Wixárika culture today.

Exhibition images 

Image from exhibition
Four generations of Wixárika women: Yolanda, Claudia, Margarita and Maria Santa. © Jennie Gamlin, 2019
Image from exhibition
Visiting the origins. © Diana Hernández Cordero, 2006. Archivo CHAC
Image from exhibition
Wixáritari women smiling in ceremony. Tukipa/ceremonial centre in Las Latas © Pedro Carrillo Valdez. 2011. Archivo CHAC 
Image from exhibition
'Maternity of the Gods' © Justo Carrillo de la Cruz y Ximena Carrillo Robles. 2022
Image from exhibition
Women running in a line, Las Latas. © Totupica Candelario Robles, 2015
Image from exhibition
'Mexican castas/Lineage' Ignacio María Barreda, 1777 © Wikimedia Commons