DIGITAL: Digital Aponte – Writing, Painting, and Making Freedom in the African Diaspora

Ada Ferrer, Linda Rodriguez launch Digital Aponte:

Vicente Escobar, Portrait of José Jackes Quiroga, n.d., oil on canvas

“Welcome to Digital Aponte, a site dedicated to the life and work of José Antonio Aponte, a free man of color, carpenter, artist, and alleged leader of a massive antislavery conspiracy and rebellion in colonial Cuba in 1811-1812. Aponte was also the creator of an unusual work of art—a “book of paintings” full of historical and mythical figures, including black kings, emperors, priests, and soldiers that he showed to and discussed with fellow conspirators. Aponte’s vision of a black history connected a diasporic and transatlantic past to the possibility of imagining a sovereign future for free and enslaved people of color in colonial Cuba. Although the “book of paintings” is believed to be lost, colonial Spanish officials interrogated Aponte about its contents after arresting him for organizing the rebellions, and Aponte’s sometimes elaborate, always elusive, descriptions of the book’s pages survive in the textual archival record.”

Explore: Digital Aponte – Writing, Painting, and Making Freedom in the African Diaspora

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