Martha Luz Machado Caicedo
Celebrating the legacy of the Congo people in Colombia
October 9, 2013

I am in Brazzaville, Congo Republic, to give a lecture about the legacy of Africans in Colombia, specially the heritage of the Congo and Angola people.
Peoples from these areas were brought by the Portuguese to Colombia from 1580 till 1640. One century ahead, during the free trade – plus contraband of slaves – the Dutch, English and Spanish shipped to Cartagena de Indias their ‘valuable cargo’ from Central Africa.
In my lecture ‘Africa (Congo and Angola), its presence and its legacy to the Colombians', I am highlighting that Africa marked the past, makes up the present and appeals to the future of the Afro- Colombians. Despite of the slavery, the long distant between one continent and another - 10,200 miles that separate Africa from Colombia - and the 300 years of time when the boat with Bantu people entered Cartagena de Indias.
Still the ancient knowledge of their ancestors helped to African descendent in Colombia to create their contemporary cultural expressions that currently enrich the National identities and it assembling the treasures of the humanity.  
At the event Promotion du Patrimoine Culturel Congolais au Service du Développement Durable” - “The promotion of Congo’s cultural heritage in the sustainable global issue” also the Carnaval de Barranquilla was present. It has been sponsored amongst others by UNESCO, Fespam and the Ministry of Culture of Congo.


         CULTURAL  PROJECTS     


Martha Luz Machado Caicedo wins important Colombian science prize
December 16, 2011

Martha Luz Machado Caicedo, who obtained her doctorate at the University of Amsterdam, won in 2011 the Premio Alejandro Ángel Escobar prize, the most important award for science in Colombia. She received this award for her work in the field of social studies and humanism. Machado Caicedo obtained her doctorate in March 2011 for her study of the cultural influence descendants of African slaves transported to Colombia had on the indigenous Chocó population.

                                                                             foto Reindert Groot

In her thesis, Machado Caicedo states that the Chocó were culturally influenced because for centuries, they shared the same territory with the African slaves and their descendants. She supports her theory using historical sources and myths as well as comparative research. Prominently featured in her thesis are the carvings of religious staffs used by the Chocó. According to Machado Caicedo, these staffs exhibit African features.

Jury report
The jury found Machado Caicedo’s research to be ground-breaking because no previous in-depth research had ever been carried out in this subject. Her work enhances the cultural knowledge of the Afro-Colombian population. In the past, the unique cultural history of this group was not recognised in Colombia. In publishing her thesis on the aesthetic memory of the Chocó and the descendants of African Slaves, Machado Caicedo attempts to rewrite their history (and thus the history of Colombia) and contribute to the discourse on exclusion and oppression.

Website Fundación Alejandro Ángel Escobar>

Interview with Martha Luz Machado Caicedo>
Post-scriptum, Unradio, 24 October 2011

Read this book for free> 

Review by Gabriel Restrepo>
e-revist@s, 31-01-2012