Afrofuturist Documentography: Santo Domingo’s History of Black Resistance and Celebratory Resilience
The silences and the absences of black peoples in the history of the city of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, are louder and more present for those who care to hear. Artists, writers, and performers Aniova Prandy and Alicia MÃ©ndez Medina had been paying attention their entire lives. In this multi-medium documentography, the artists dare to translate and amplify multiple histories to re-create an Afrofuturist history of the city. Daily they encounter these stories of the past, so the Afrofuturist vision is both past and present. Naming, humanizing, re-imagining and re-memorizing peoples, sites, and events with poetry, humor, images, photography, among others, the artists create a documentography of blackness in Santo Domingo. The artists in collaboration with Rosa Carrasquillo, a Caribbean historian, rescue historical images and documents that are often overlooked. They break the positivist, linear historical narratives. Instead, time is another social construct that they bend to include spiritual beings, non-verbal languages, and humor. This documentography (in Spanish with English subtitles) will also serve as a survival guideline for blacks in Santo Domingo. We will be presenting a video in Spanish with English subtitles, a joint effort by the three panelists. Then, a short intervention by each artist (5 minutes each) and Q&A will follow. Carrasquillo will serve as moderator and translator as needed.