Cover: Diago: The Pasts of This Afro-Cuban Present, from Harvard University PressCover: Diago in PAPERBACK

Diago

The Pasts of This Afro-Cuban Present

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Product Details

PAPERBACK

$50.00 • £39.95 • €45.00

ISBN 9780674977068

Publication: March 2017

Available 08/04/2017

Text

160 pages

10-3/4 x 10-3/4 inches

107 color illustrations, 4 halftones

Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art

World

A leading member of the new Afro-Cuban cultural movement, visual artist Juan Roberto Diago (b. 1971) has produced a body of work that offers a revisionist history of the Cuban nation. His “history”—a term he frequently inserts in his works using the visual language of graffiti—is not the official narrative of a racially harmonious nation, built thanks to the selfless efforts of generous white patriots. Diago’s Cuba is a nation built on pain, rape, greed, and the enslavement of millions of displaced Africans, a nation still grappling with the long-term effects of slavery and colonialism. To him, slavery is not the past, but a daily experience of racism and discrimination. Africa is not a root, but a wellspring of cultural renovation and personal affirmation, the ancestors that sustain him in his journey.

In the first examination of Diago’s creative work during his entire career, Alejandro de la Fuente provides parallel English- and Spanish-language text, illustrated throughout. The book traces Diago’s singular efforts to construct new pasts—the pasts required to explain the racial tensions of contemporary Cuba and the pasts of this Afro-Cuban present.