The masterful work of Cuban artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, 2021 Pérez Prize recipient, reflects on our shared modern condition while evoking memories of the past and ancestors that came before us. Images of Black people, histories, and experiences are represented through fragmentary reflections of the artist’s own autobiographical experiences that serve to rupture persistent visual and historical erasures. In this essay, Dr. Yanique Hume reflects on the ways in which the silences of the past become visible and memories become ritualized through Campos-Pons art practice. In exploring how she routinely centers Blackness, Dr. Hume argues that the work of Campos-Pons connects to the experiences of the hybridity that define the Black experience in the Americas.
Dr. Yanique Hume is an interdisciplinary scholar, priestess, dancer, and choreographer who specializes in the religious, performed, and popular cultures of the Caribbean and the broader African Diaspora. She is Head of the Department of Cultural Studies and Lecturer at the University of West Indies, Cave Hill Campus. Dr. Hume is the co-editor of Caribbean Cultural Thought: From Plantation to Diaspora (2013); Caribbean Popular Culture: Power, Politics and Performance (2016); and Passages and Afterworlds: Anthropological Perspectives on Death in the Caribbean (2018). She has also conducted substantial research on the creative and cultural industries of the Caribbean. As a dancer and choreographer, Dr. Hume has worked with companies in her native Jamaica as well as in Cuba, Haiti, and Brazil. She is the recipient of grants from the Social Science Research Council, the International Development Research Centre, Ford Foundation, and the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.