Carlos Rojas Cocoma (January 2022-2024)

Ph.D. in History from the Universidad de los Andes. His research focus in the history of creation, reproduction and circulation of South American images. He worked on several museum projects in Bogotá, being chief curator at the Museo de Arte Colonial and advisor of projects for archives, museums, and libraries among other institutions. Between 2014 and 2020, He was associate professor at EAN University, in Colombia.  Currently he is working on a book about spirituality and hallucinogenic substances of the Muisca culture, northern south America, between 13th and 14th centuries, as a Postdoctoral Researcher under the project “Global Horizons” of University of Bern.

His postdoctoral project “Yopo: Ritual, nature and altered state of consciousness in precolumbian muiscas” focuses on golden trays for consume of entheogenic plants during the XIIIth and XIVth century.

Museo del Oro, Bogotá. Bandeja para consumir halucinógenos, 13th century, Gold.

In South America, the consumption of hallucinogenic substances was an essential part of the indigenous communities, since through sacred rituals of consumption, the experiences lived were interpreted as a direct communication with a higher world. In this context, few have been as important and yet so unknown as in the case of the Yopo seed, a tree from the Orinoco region: cultures established throughout Central and South America, in Andean and Amazonian regions or on islands of the Caribbean used (and still use) this substance, leaving valuable material testimonies for use as evidence.

Between the 13th and 16th centuries, the Muisca culture developed in the consumption of yopo a central axis of its spirituality that is still pending investigation in the north of South America. The objects that are preserved to this day allow us to trace a cosmogony: gold and wood trays, inhalers, mural painting and sacred representations, refer to a symbolic universe that, although hermetic, used the yopo as a channel of communication and knowledge. Integrating ethnohistory with the study of images, I seek to identify how the consumption of yopo built a specific relationship between nature and culture in Muisca society.



  • Entorno global, ética y sociedad (Global Context, Ethic and Society),Ediciones EAN, Bogotá 2019, together with Juan Patiño and Sandra Ortega.
  • Debates visuales: la imagen como fuente histórica (Visual Debates: Image as a Historical Source), Ediciones EAN, Bogotá 2018.

Selected articles and book chapters:

  • « Etnografía y experiencia en las imágenes jesuitas del Orinoco en la segunda mitad del siglo XVIII ». En Borja, Jaime y Contreras Guerrero, Adrián, eds. Esencias y pervivencias barrocas, Colombia en el Nuevo Reino de Granada. Pablo de Olavide y Enredars, Sevilla, 2021.
  • « Unidad, paisaje y lugar en la fotografía colombiana, alrededor de 1900 ». In Aisthesis, Núm. 68 (2020).
  • “El diablo de Tópaga, espiritualidad e imagen en el siglo XVII”, in: Universos Barrocos. Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla 2018.
  • “Las postales de la casa Flohr, Price & Co. en Colombia: la invención de un lugar a comienzos del siglo 1900” in: Boletín de estudios e investigaciones. Instituto de Teoría e historia del arte Julio E. Payro, 2018.
  • “Genealogías del paisaje colombiano(1700-1873),” in: Decir el lugar, Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango, Bogotá 2017.
  • “El cuerpo como sistema, la serie de mártires de la Iglesia de Santo Domingo, Tunja, en el siglo XVII”, in: Rutas y migraciones del barroco, La Paz, Fundación Visión Cultural 2017.