Angélica Marí Sánchez Barona - Scholars - The Gordon Parks Foundation

Born and raised in Cali-Colombia, Angélica Marí Sánchez Barona is a Historian and Art Historian, member of the Research Group Interseccionalidades at Casa Cultural El Chontaduro in Cali, Colombia. She is PhD candidate in the African and African American Studies Department at Harvard University. She holds a M.A. in Art History from Pennsylvania State University, a program she pursued thanks to the Fulbright scholarship for Afro-Colombian Leaders earned in 2014. Her research interests include the intersections of race, gender, and class in the history of medicine and visual culture during the colonial period in Latin America. She has been a guest Visual Arts Editor in Transition magazine's previous issues, and is the author of the Chapter Soy Libre, Vengo a Esclavizarme!, part of the text Demando mi Libertad: Mujeres Negras y sus Estrategias de Resistencia en la Nueva Granada, Venezuela y Cuba, 1700–1800.

Project overview:

Race, Gender, Visual Culture, and Ideas of Nation in Colonial Nueva Granada, 1775–1819

This dissertation examines how visual culture actively participated in the construction of racial ideologies of the viceroyalty of New Granada, and will consider the interactions of race, gender, class, and natural history within the colonial visual culture between 1775–1819. This period comprises the last big padrón (census) in which the colonial government collected data about the different ethnic groups inhabiting the viceroyalty, and how they were distributed along this territory in 1775. This was an intense era in which the white creole elite rebelled against the Spanish colonial rule, that ultimately finished in 1819 when the first republic was officially installed.

The researcher looks to uncover the visual languages that were part of the creation of black subjects at a time when the trafficking of enslaved African and Afro-descendant people was still in force. It also explores how racial differences were perceived and invoked by the independentist white elite Creole men who incorporated these ideas into the emancipation speeches they delivered in favor of independence during the early nineteenth century. It is my objective to analyze how these visual and rhetorical representations of difference connected with projects of nation-building that were proposed and discussed within the independentist intellectual network. A study focused on connections between racial differences in colonial visual culture and the independentist ideas of the early nineteenth century in Nueva Granada has yet to be undertaken in either art history or African diaspora studies.