Publisher description for My cocaine museum / Michael Taussig.


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In this book, a make-believe cocaine museum becomes a vantage point from which to assess the lives of Afro-Colombian gold miners drawn into the dangerous world of cocaine production in the rain forest of Colombia's Pacific Coast. Although modeled on the famous Gold Museum in Colombia's central bank, the Banco de la República, Taussig's museum is also a parody aimed at the museum's failure to acknowledge the African slaves who mined the country's wealth for almost four hundred years.

Combining natural history with political history in a filmic, montage style, Taussig deploys the show-and-tell modality of a museum to engage with the inner life of heat, rain, stone, and swamp, no less than with the life of gold and cocaine.

This effort to find a poetry of words becoming things is brought to a head by the explosive qualities of those sublime fetishes of evil beauty, gold and cocaine. At its core, Taussig's museum is about the lure of forbidden things, charged substances that transgress moral codes, the distinctions we use to make sense of the world, and above all the conventional way we write stories.



Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Indians of South America Colombia Santa Marâia (Cauca) Social conditions, Indians of South America Colombia Santa Marâia (Cauca) Economic conditions, Indians, Treatment of Colombia Santa Marâia (Cauca)Slavery Colombia Santa Marâia (Cauca) History, Gold mines and mining Colombia Santa Marâia (Cauca)Cocaine industry Colombia Santa Marâia (Cauca)Drug traffic Colombia Santa Marâia (Cauca)Santa Marâia (Cauca, Colombia) Social conditions, Santa Marâia (Cauca, Colombia) Economic conditions