Alejandro Campos-Garcia talk

Contemporary Cuban Artists and the Politics of Race, Ethnicity, and Racism

17 February 2011, 2 – 4PM

The political, economic, and social shift that took place in Cuba during the 1990s, as a consequence of the end of the Cold War, set the climate within which a previously silenced group of anti-racist visual artists were able to become public. Since the late 1990s, this group has organized a number of exhibitions where they have developed a narrative related to the claim of special rights, group identity formation, and the defense of ethnic singularities. In so doing they have contributed to the creation of a new framework for thinking about race in Cuba.

This presentation will reflect on the main artistic and political features of this group of artists. Using their artistic work as its point of entry, it analyzes the key political points that constitute the foundations upon which these artists understand racism as a social problem. To this end, it explores their two central arguments, namely that ‘blacks’ in Cuba are a ‘vulnerabilized’ or endangered ‘racial’ group and, further, that they are characterized by social and ethnically distinct attributes.

Presented at the crossroads of Revolutionary Sundays and the CIA.