International Colloquium and Exhibition: “Pierre Verger, Caribbean Connections”

The International Colloquium “Pierre Verger: conexiones caribeñas” [Pierre Verger, Caribbean Connections], will talk place March 15-17, 2011, at Casa de las Américas, Fototeca de Cuba, and National Institute of Anthropology. The colloquium is dedicated to Pierre Verger (1902-1996), a well-known French photographer, ethnographer, and babalawo (priest of Ifa) who devoted most of his life to the study of the African diaspora and African-based religions and cultures.

The colloquium events are hosted by the Center for Caribbean Studies of Casa de las Américas and the Pierre Verger Foundation, with co-sponsorship from the Office of the Historian of the City of Havana, the French and Brazilian Embassies in Cuba, and the IOC (Companhia de Obras e Infraestrutura).

The itinerant program will include presentations, film screenings, an exhibition, and other activities at the three venues mentioned above, exploring the photographer’s ties to intellectuals of the region and with the universe of popular religiosity, cultural anthropology, and ethno-botany.  The colloquium will open tomorrow (March 15) at 9:00 am at the Manuel Galich Room at Casa, with speeches by Roberto Fernández Retamar (Director of Casa de las Américas), Gilberto Pedreira of Freitas Sá (President of the Pierre Verger Foundation), and Yolanda Wood Pujols (Director of the Center for Caribbean Studies). A session led by Wood Pujols will be followed by Luiz Buarque de Hollanda’s documentary Pierre Fatumbi Verger: mensajero entre dos mundos [Pierre Fatumbi Verger: Messenger between Two Worlds].

At the Fototeca de Cuba (in Havana’s historical center), Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler will preside over the unveiling a commemorative plaque dedicated to Verger; Kirenia Rodríguez Puerto, general coordinator of the colloquium, will open the exhibition “Cuba, una imagen en Pierre Verger.” This will be followed by a book launch—Cuba: textos e imágenes—presented by Dr. Víctor Marín, and the inauguration of another exhibit named De Brasil a Cuba: otro viaje de Pierre Verger. The National Institute of Anthropology will also host an exhibition—Verger: libros y cartas cruzadas con Lydia Cabrera—examining books and correspondence between Verger and Cuban writer/ethnographer Lydia Cabrera. Other activities will include the launch of the book Pierre Verger y el Caribe and the opening of the exhibition Pierre Verger: Conexiones caribeñas, which will take place on March 17 at Galería Latinoamericana at Casa.

Sessions throughout the conference will include the participation of specialists (in the fields of history, ethnography, architecture, art, and others) such as Haydée Arango, Nelson Arellano, Alex Baradel, Natalia Bolívar, Laura Bravo López, Ariel Camejo, Vilma Díaz, Claudia Felipe, Joëlle Ferly, Mayra Fernández Zequeira, Alicia García Santana, Nahela Hechavarría, Rafael Jackson, Julio Larramendi, Angela Lühning, Cándida Martínez Callis, Rogelio Martínez Furé, Mariosha Méndez Ledesma, Lázara Menéndez, Indira Mones Guevara, David Redon, Kirenia Rodríguez, and Dominique Taffin.

For full article (in Spanish) and detailed schedule of evetnts, see

Also read interview with Kirenia Rodríguez, general coordinator of the Pierre Verger International Colloquium, at

For more on the Pierre Verger Foundation, see

Also see

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