On November 20th, Craig Mokhiber– Director New York Office OHCRHR–, professors Anita Gonzalez– University of Michigan–, and Herman Bennett –CUNY– will join us for a panel discussion regarding the subject of our ongoing photography exhibition Afromexicans, Pride and Belonging which aims to ensure visibility to communities of African descent in different parts of the country such as Coahuila, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Tabasco, and Morelos.
The program is scheduled to begin at 5 PM and a reception with bites and drinks by Zarela Martinez will follow.
This event is free and open to the public. Space is limited, RSVP required.
From a Eurocentric perspective and well into the nineteenth century, the idea of national borders also meant ethnic boundaries. However, migration flows (whether for economic or political reasons), colonialism and slavery, have forced us to redefine the concept of nation in accordance to its diversity, leaving behind the monolithic and discriminatory stance which presumes that a particular race belongs to a specific culture and ethnic group. Inequality conditions nowadays have revealed the demise of an egalitarian or universalist notion, such as liberal principles or the idea of miscegenation, which result in the exclusion, discrimination and overshadowing of wide sectors of the population.
In the context of the International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, this exhibit aims to ensure visibility to communities of African descent in Mexico. The intention is to raise awareness in order to combat racist and xenophobic expressions that result in discriminatory behaviors; to recognize the African Heritage of our country, essential in order to understand both the current and the historical Mexico.
May this exhibit also serve as a remembrance that in Mexico, slavery was abolished in 1829, fourty years earlier than in the United States, and that equality for all citizens was decreed by law ever since Mexico became independent from Spain. These facts, however, do not exonerate us from taking responsibility for old injustices, nor do they attenuate the many challenges to be faced in the road towards the full recognition of the 1.4 million people in Mexico that identify as people of African descent.
These photographs, from the collection of the National Commission for Human Rights in Mexico, are a record of the Commission’s visits to different populations of African descent in Coahuila, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Tabasco, and Morelos.
Two maps complete the exhibit: the first one shows transatlantic slave trade routes from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries; the second one shows the population of African descent in each state.
When: November 20, 5 PM
Where: Octavio Paz Gallery / Consulate General of Mexico 27 East 39th Street