European gardens in the Andes. Socioecological negotiations of green spaces in nineteenth-century Bogotá (Colombia)

European gardens in the Andes. Socioecological negotiations of green spaces in nineteenth-century Bogotá (Colombia)
Date
12 June 2019, 5.30pm - 7.30pm
Venue
Bedford Room, G37, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Description

Diego Molina, University of Reading

London Andean Studies Seminar

In colonial Bogotá (Colombia), ornamental plants were enclosed in domestic spaces. Patios (inner courts) and solares (backyards) were spaces where flowering plants thrived. As a consequence of the modernisation process, by the end of the nineteenth century, ornamental plants had acquired a public dimension. Parks and public gardens inspired by European models were created as symbols of civilisation and constructed with hygiene in mind. In these public spaces, newly-introduced exotic plants mixed with other, historically used species. This paper explores the socioecological negotiations between the gardening ideas imported from Europe and the plants used in the construction of green spaces in Bogotá (located in the Tropical Andes, now widely recognised as the global epicentre of biodiversity with more than 45,000 plant species). Focussing on the period between 1880 and 1910, and drawing on historical sources such as manuscripts, photos, advertisements, travellers’ tales, and, alternative sources such as herbarium collections, this paper reveals the central role of self-taught gardeners in the modernisation of Bogotá’s urban spaces.

Contact

Olga Jimenez
olga.jimenez@sas.ac.uk
020 7862 8871