About This Project

Peter journeys to Colombia, where he introduces us to the simple, unabashed and inherent beauty of women who have captivated hearts long before the Spanish conquistadors arrived. We meet the Wayuu, inhabitants of the Guajira Desert, who use a unique mushroom called the mashuka to make an effective sunscreen that protects them from the fierce desert sun and wind. We experience the five baths of sand, mud, seawater, fresh water and even petrol that are used by various indigenous groups as a beautifying ritual. Within the world’s greatest natural pyramid, the 6000-metre Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the Kogi women reveal a unique environment where they have developed a wealth of plant-based rituals. Hidden in their ciudad perdida or ‘lost city’, they offer us an unparalleled dimension of human beauty, beginning with the myth of Aluna, the first woman. The Choco women of the Pacific coast show us their outstanding and colourful signs of distinction, and we then then dive into the notorious city of Kali, whose girls are famous for their beauty and grace, which results from their multi-racial mix of pre- and post-Colombian mestizaje. We frequently observe beauty contests in this region, which provides a living example of the continuing cult of beauty, and where the belief that there is no identity without beauty prevails.