Yams, hormones and bioprospecting: from Buffelskloof to Beeston

From: 15th February 2020 1:00 pm

To: 15th February 2020 3:00 pm

Bromley House Library

Angel Row

Céline Siani Djiakoua, resident artist at Bromley House Library for 2020, is organising a series of workshops and talks relating to her research into the 19th century collection of travel books and autobiographies. Her first guest is Rebecca Beinart.




Throughout the 1950s, Boots were importing 100s of tons of a remarkable looking, exotic sounding tuber from South Africa to Nottingham – the Elephant’s Foot Yam. They were using this as an essential starting material for the production of cortisone, which had recently been discovered as a new ‘wonder drug’. Join us for a hands-on workshop to uncover this story and its connection to indigenous knowledge, colonial plant-hunting, pharmaceutical drugs, and conservation, and explore recipes and records from the archive.

Through a practical activity, participants are invited to work directly with material from the archives – bringing these histories into dialogue with contemporary experiences of hormones and health.


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