De la Fuente Interview

Cuban Art News: 'In Conversation: Alejandro de la Fuente on Drapetomanía and Grupo Antillano'

April 2, 2013
De la Fuente has described Grupo Antillano as a forgotten visual arts and cultural movement that thrived between 1978 and 1983. The group proclaimed the centrality of African practices in national culture. For them, Africa and the surrounding Caribbean was not a dead cultural heritage but a vibrant, ongoing and vital influence that continued to define what it means to be Cuban.

Arts Fuse: 'Visual Arts Review: Asserting Cuban Identity — Through Art'

April 22, 2015
What does it mean to be Cuban? That’s a complicated question, bound to evoke different answers, depending on whom you ask. Raoul Castro might say one thing, Marco Rubio another. The descendant of a Spanish sugar producer, an African slave’s great-great grandchild another. And the many Cubans from multiracial families might have their own way of looking at identity. For a group of Cuban artists known as Grupo Antillano, their answer, proclaimed in a 1978 manifesto, was: “We are Latin-Africans.” African origin was, for them, the foundation that should guide the development of Cuba’s... Read more about Arts Fuse: 'Visual Arts Review: Asserting Cuban Identity — Through Art'

Boston Globe: 'Cuban resilience shines at Harvard, heroes take flight at BU'

May 6, 2015
Grupo Antillano has largely slipped through the cracks of Cuban art history. The movement, active from 1978 to 1983, celebrated African and Afro-Caribbean influences in Cuban culture. “Drapetomanía: Grupo Antillano and the Art of Afro-Cuba,” on view at the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art at Harvard’s Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, traces the movement and where it has led. It’s a strong show, woven with turmoil and hope.

Art on Cuba: 'Grupo Antillano y el Arte de Afro-Cuba llega a Harvard'

January 27, 2015

La exposición colectiva Drapetomanía: Grupo Antillano y el Arte de Afro-Cuba llega a la Universidad de Harvard este 29 de enero tras haberse mostrado en Nueva York, San Francisco, Santiago de Cuba y La Habana.

Curada y comisariada por el historiador Alejandro de la Fuente, profesor de la Universidad de Harvard, la muestra se complementa con el libro Grupo Antillano: el arte de Afro-Cuba, editado por el mismo, con ensayos de críticos de arte e historiadores como Guillermina Ramos Cruz, José Veigas y Judith Bettelheim, entre otros.

Cubaencuentro: 'Arte Afrocubano en la Universidad de Harvard'

Cubaencuentro: 'Arte Afrocubano en la Universidad de Harvard'

January 30, 2015
Expuesta originalmente en el Centro Provincial de Artes Plásticas y Diseño en Santiago de Cuba (abril-mayo, 2013), donde fue descrita como “una de las mejores muestras de artes plásticas de los últimos años en Santiago de Cuba”, Drapetomanía viaja ahora a la Galería Ethelbert Cooper de Arte Africano y Afro-Americano de la Universidad de Harvard tras haberse expuesto en el Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales en La Habana, la Galería The 8th Floor de Nueva York y el Museo de la Diáspora Africana (MoAD) en San Francisco.

Artslant: 'LIKE IN REVELATIONS... and other such things'

January 30, 2015
James Baldwin wrote, "The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions hidden by the answers." Few galleries of art hold true to that magnetic north like the recently opened Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art at Harvard University. In this space, stories dance. Tales unfold, enlightening and reminding of the African diaspora and its hopes, dreams, visions and tears. There's heavy traffic in such endeavors, with much wreckage on the roadside and splinters on the rocks of those beckoned by the Lorelei. One does not just "put up a show" when it comes to... Read more about Artslant: 'LIKE IN REVELATIONS... and other such things'

Harvard Gazette: 'Tangled roots'

April 10, 2015
The story of “Drapetomania: Grupo Antillano and the Art of Afro-Cuba” is one of discovery and rediscovery. For visitors to the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art, it’s a stunning find, tucked away in the former commercial space that reopened as the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research last fall. For the 30 artists represented, it illustrates the uncovering of an artistic heritage, and a lineage that was long denied.
Cooper Gallery

Harvard Crimson: 'At Crossroads: The Ethelbert Cooper Gallery'

April 21, 2015
Indeed, the Cooper Gallery serves a unique role as a space for the exploration of African and African American diasporic identities, something highlighted by the “Drapetomanía” exhibition. De la Fuente says its most provocative piece lies at the end of the Long Gallery. Titled “Resurrección,” the sculpture is an original work by Rafael Queneditt, the original director of the Grupo Antillano, and was created exclusively for this exhibit.