The International Colloquium on Cultural Diversity in the Caribbean, held from 22 to 26 May 2017 in Havana, is convened every two years by Casa de las Americas through its Center for Caribbean Studies. The colloquium, held in different venues at Casa de las Americas (in Havana, Cuba), will include panels, exhibitions, workshops, theatrical and dance performances, audio-visual presentations and concerts. This year, in its sixth edition, the colloquium addressed diverse issues generated by the theme “Memory and Border Conflicts.”
Three paradigmatic events drive this topic. On the one hand, the centennials of the transfer of the Danish Virgin Islands to the United States and the implementation of the Jones Act by the United States Congress, granting US citizenship to Puerto Ricans. Both instances were of crucial importance not only in the geopolitical map of their time, but also in the cultural and social reconfiguration of territories and communities. Thinking about these events today implies understanding them in their historical dimension, as well as in a present derived from these reconverted borders and collective identity/memory. On the other hand, the eighty years since the 1937 massacre on the Haitian-Dominican border prompted us to think about the cultural impact of this event on the collective memory of the region, as well as on cultural mediations that, through a broad spectrum of artistic forms, have critically explored its implications.
In this edition, the event joins the activities celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), which has carried on admirable work in the consolidation of academic networks in Latin America and the Caribbean. For this reason, a broad representation of members of the Working Groups (“The Caribbean: Afro-descendants, racism and resistance” and “Critical Decolonizing Thought in the Caribbean”) will participate in the Colloquium sessions. In turn, this edition is part of the 2017 actions of the UNESCO Chair for Intercultural Dialogue in Our America at Casa de las Americas.
[Image above: Wifredo Lam, 1943, “The Jungle.” See https://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/wifredo-lam-the-jungle-1943 ]