Conference: Afro-Cuban Artists—A Renaissance


The Afro-Cuban Artists Conference will take place April 27-30, 2016, at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri.  Daytime conference sessions will take place at the Hampton Inn and Suites, with other events and activities on the MU campus. This conference explores topics related to the aesthetics, socio-cultural and political antecedents, context and impact of the Afro-Cuban artists who came of age after 1959.

The following scholars of Afro-Cuban culture will serve as keynote speakers:

Nancy Morejón — Cuban poet and author/scholar and president of the Cuban Academy of Language

Dr. Alejandro de la Fuente — Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics at Harvard University, who has written extensively on issues related to the African diaspora, on the impact of slavery and on the subsequent contributions of people of African descent on contemporary societies across the Americas

William Luis — Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Spanish at Vanderbilt University and author of thirteen books and more than one hundred scholarly articles.

Víctor Fowler Calzada — one of the most influential poets and intellectuals writing in Cuba today and the author of ten books of poetry and five books of essays.

In addition, after years of difficult U.S.-Cuban diplomatic relations, the conference has the unique opportunity to host these prominent Afro-Cuban artists, and exhibit their work:

Manuel Mendive — a leading contemporary artist whose work is strongly influenced by the Santería religion.

Eduardo “Choco” Roca Salazar — a painter, sculptor and master of collagraphs whose work reflects his cultural roots and Afro-Cuban religions.

Santiago Rodriguez Olazábal — a priest of Ifá, an Afro-Cuban religion, and artist whose work centers around the beauty of the Yoruba culture.

You can register online until April 20 when registration closes.

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For more information, please visit the conference website:

Image above: Santiago Rodríguez Olazábal’s “El buen camino” from

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