Afro-Brazilian Painting Connections Across the Diaspora
Kimberly Cleveland’s, “Abdias do Nascimento: Afro-Bazilian Painting Connections Across the Diaspora,” essay on Abdias do Nascimento, who passed away on May 23, 2011, is a timely reflection of his work on many levels. Born in 1914, Nascimento was politically active in Brazil and became the first Afro-Brazilian congressman (1983-1986) and Senator (1991, 1997, 1999). However, his lesser-known life’s work as a visual artist was about guiding this political-cultural lens to a deeper understanding of the African influences in Brazilian art. Between 1968 and 1981, Nascimento lived in a self-imposed exile in the United States taking on the role of cultural ambassador between Black Brazilians and African Americans. He intellectually embraced the ideas of Negritude, Pan Africanism, and the politics of Diaspora, which, as a cultural exchange, enriched his perspective and work as a painter.
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