School of Arts | About us | Events in the School
Document Actions

Decolonising Witchcraft: Implications for Knowledge and Health

Starts 03 March 2017 - 16:00
Finishes 03 March 2017 - 18:00
Venue Birkbeck, University of London. Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD
Booking details
Free entry; booking required
Add to calendar

Event description

Decolonising Witchcraft: Implications for Knowledge and Health
The Peltz Gallery, Birkbeck in collaboration with Birkbeck Gender and Sexuality (BiGS)

This Panel Discussion will open the Decolonising Witchcraft: Portraits of Traditional Healers in Bolivia exhibition being held in the Peltz Gallery at Birkbeck. 

The speakers will discuss the significance of alternative forms of healthcare both in Bolivia and the UK. They will examine the colonial implications of the division between ‘traditional healing’ and ‘modern medicine’ and what this means for choice in healthcare, both in post-colonial countries like Bolivia, and here in the UK.  The speakers will also consider the way that alternative medicine is viewed in the UK, and what this means for choice, diversity and access in the UK healthcare system.


  • Frank Somers of the Amesbury and Stonehenge Druids, who will present on his recent visit to work with Bolivian traditional healers in La Paz.
  • Peter Wilkin, PhD Environmental Anthropology, University of Kent, who will talk about the significance of medicinal plant knowledge and associated rituals to the well being of people and the environment in Bolivia
  • Jasmine Gideon, Senior Lecturer, Geography, Birkbeck, who will discuss her latest project on Latin Americans in London and their use of traditional medicines in healthcare and mental well-being.

The Panel Discussion will be followed by a reception from 6-8pm in the Peltz Gallery, where people will be able to view the exhibition.

Free event open to all: Book your place

The Decolonising Witchcraft: Portraits of Traditional Healers in Bolivia exhibition portrays the women whose livelihoods involve the traditional rituals, artefacts and medicines that play a central role in culture and health in Bolivia. It will be open from 3 - 25 March. Full details.

BiGS provides a forum for innovative interdisciplinary collaboration and exchange in gender and sexuality studies. It brings together scholars working in the arts and humanities and the social sciences and encourages dialogue with practitioners in the creative industries as well as with non-academic constituencies.

The Peltz Gallery was founded in 2013 with the help of a generous donation by Elizabeth and Daniel Peltz. The Gallery showcases the creative interdisciplinary and experimental research produced by academic staff and postgraduates in the School of the Arts at Birkbeck, University of London. It also provides curatorial and professional training in a venue attracting a wide public.