Thursday, February 26, 2015

The African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to the Present...

The African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to the Present...
Inline image
     Africans arrived in Mexico in 1519. Yanga, an African leader, founded the first free African township in the Americas (January 6, 1609). Since then Africans have continued to contribute their artistic, culinary, musical, and traditions to Mexican culture through the present day.

       NEW ORLEANS, LA – Ashé Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. in New Orleans, will showcase The African Presence in México, an educational panel display based on the most comprehensive project ever organized about African contributions to Mexican culture featuring the The African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to the Present, Roots. This exhibition is brought to the Center courtesy of The National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago (NMMA). It features numerous public and educational programs, and examines the missing chapter in Mexican history that highlights the contributions of Africans to Mexican culture over the past nearly 500 years. The intent is to stimulate a better understanding of Mexican culture and its African roots. It ran from November 1, to February 28, 2014.

      The educational panels are a compilation of images replicated from the original African Presence in Mexico that toured around the USA. These images represent segments of the original exhibition.

      Curated by Sagrario Cruz of the University of Veracruz and the NMMA's Visual Arts Director Cesáreo Moreno, the exhibition will focus on the overlooked history of African contributions to Mexican culture from 1519 to the present day. For nearly 500 years, the existence and contributions of the African descendants in Mexico have been overlooked.

     Africans arrived in Mexico in 1519. Yanga, an African leader, founded the first free African township in the Americas (January 6, 1609). Since then Africans have continued to contribute their artistic, culinary, musical, and traditions to Mexican culture through the present day. No exhibition has showcased the history, artistic expressions, and practices of Afro-Mexicans in such a broad scope as this one, which includes a comprehensive range of artwork from 18th Century Colonial Caste Paintings to contemporary artistic expressions. The exhibition features artists such as Rufino Tamayo, Elizabeth Catlett, Francisco Toledo, Francisco Mora, Maria Yampolski; and Afro-Mexicano artists: Ignacio Canela, Mario Guzmán, Guillermo Vargas, and Hermengildo González.


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