Photography Exhibition: Sebastián Beláustegui’s “Africa in the Americas”

Casa Aboy, with its PL 900 photo gallery, presents the exhibition “Africa in America” by Argentine photographer Sebastián (Suki) Beláustegui. The exhibition, curated by Puerto Rican photographer Alicia Kidd, will open on May 20, 2010, at 7:30pm. The exhibition is free and open to the general public.

The exhibition explores the Garifuna in Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras, whose traditions and forms have been included on UNESCO’s world heritage lists; the rituals of Santería in Cuba; Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago and Barranquilla, Colombia; Carnival and spiritual rituals of Candomblé in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil; and African-based culture on the shores of Guerrero and Veracruz, Mexico.

Documentary filmmaker and photographer, Beláustegui was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina (1969) and currently lives in Tepoztlán, Mexico.  Since 1991 he has documented the heritage of African cultures in the Americas. His book, Guardians of Time: Portrait of the Spirit of Latin America (2003), is a testament to his experiences in 10 countries while living with 25 indigenous communities. The foreword of the book was written by Nobel Prize winner José Saramago. His works have been published internationally in books, journals, and magazines such as National Geographic (cover February 2005), Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, etc. and he has exhibited his work in museums and art galleries throughout the Americas.

Beláustegui feels that, in this era of globalization, the traditions of the African-American cultures (in the wider context of the Americas) are in the process of disappearing. With his “Africa in America” he delves into the African legacy through images of carnivals, rituals, traditional music and dance, as well as portraits and scenes of everyday life. Beláustegui describes his purpose: “Through the creative means of documentary photography, I hope to provide these cultures with a platform for their own life testimony and a way for them to share the richness of their diversity with each other and the broader world.” 

For more information, please call (787) 723-7715 and (787) 374-7715, or see

For a sampling of “Africa in the Americas,” see

For the artist’s page, see

Photo, “Carnival en Barranquillas, Colombia,” supplied by the artist.

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