Tuesday 8 October 18:00 - 19:30

Hopkins Room
Stratford Library
3 The Grove
E15 1EL

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Birkbeck's Big Ideas | Black History Month 2019: The African Presence in Spain from the 16th to the 18th Centuries

Community & Culture

This free lecture for Black History Month 2019 in Newham will draw attention to a hidden black diaspora in Spain.

Very little is known about the African Diaspora in Spain between 16th - 18th century, since their presence and cultural contributions have been erased from history books. This free lecture by Dr Carmen Fracchia, of the Department of Cultures and Languages at Birkbeck, University of London, will draw on visual and written examples of how Africans and their descendants were represented in art and literature.

Using recently discovered collective poems written in the first ever founded 'black' confraternities of the Western World and introducing the very little known (since most of his work is still kept in the storages of famous European museums) yet fascinating artistic career of the freedman painter Juan de Pareja at the Spanish Royal Court, this talk will reveal the African voice of enslaves and liberated people in Spain.

It will then compare this to the ways in which Spaniard artists and their wealthy clients depicted their enslaved Africans and Afro-Hispanics in paintings, drawings and sculptures, highlighting the origins of contemporary racism.

Join us for the first in this series of Birkbeck's Big Ideas at its new home in Stratford Library, marking Black History Month 2019. The talk will include images and opportunities to ask questions so come along and learn something new! 

Who is Dr Carmen Fracchia?

Born in Paraguay (South America), she studied BA History of Art at the University of Siena (Italy) and completed her PhD in the same field in University College London (UK). She has been teaching at Birkbeck University of London since 1992. She was invited to teach and share her research in Spain (Granada, Madrid) and in the United States (Chicago, Pittsburgh). She published in the UK, the USA, Europe and Latin America. Her book 'Black but Human': Slavery and Visual Arts in Habsburg Spain (1480-1700)' will be published by Oxford University Press in October this year. Her main research interests are the cultural contributions made by Afro-Spanish people between 1400 to 1700 in Spain; the ways in which Afro-Hispanic people saw themselves in the visual arts and in poetry, and the ways in which the African Diaspora was represented in visual art by Spaniards artists.

What is Birkbeck's Big Ideas?

Birkbeck's Big Ideas is a series of thought-provoking free public lectures on a wide range of subject areas, delivered in the local community by researchers from Birkbeck, University of London. Everyone is welcome to attend, regardless of previous educational experience.

The event is FREE and open to all, but please note that seating is allocated on a first come first served basis. Registration and refreshments are available from 5.45pm and the talk will commence at 6pm promptly. We look forward to welcoming you to this Birkbeck's Big Idea event!

Join the conversation on Twitter: #BBKBigIdeas

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