Afro Syncretic presents the work of nine artists foregrounding the African roots of the Latinx diaspora. Collectively, the works center the vibrancy of diasporic blackness within Latinx culture urging viewers to confront dominant narratives of what it means to be Latinx.
These artists are part of a contemporary reassessment of African influences in Latinx communities that rejects trends to separate and undermine blackness. They provide pathways to appreciate the richness of contemporary Afro-syncretic interventions, breaking through dominant views of history and inspiring alternative futures.
Some of the works reference Afro-derived music, food, and religious practices. Others recreate memories that inspire new narratives about familiar, quotidian environments like a Nuyorican apartment while addressing the displacement of longtime residents. Others disrupt dominant beauty standards by challenging consumer goods. Some artists invite viewers to reflect on key social and political issues of the times by emphasizing the policing of black bodies and the problem of eroticizing and romanticizing a colonial past.
Together, these artists challenge viewers into a dialog that deliberately pays attention to African diasporic traditions in vernacular culture and their historical and living references. Most importantly, Afro Syncretic makes clear that visual artists are central to conjuring a social imaginary that centers Afro-Latinx in popular culture and all facets of life.
Artists are: Lucia Hierro, Tiffany Alfonseca, Joiri Minaya, Carlos Martiel, Fabiola Jean Louis, Patricia Encarnación, David Antonio Cruz, Melissa Misla, and Elia Alba.
Curated by Yelaine Rodriguez