A Villa Romana project in collaboration with Black History Month Florence
Black Archive Alliance brings an unusual perspective to Florence: that of nine students searching for signs of an African presence in the city. The project, which resulted from the collaboration between the Villa Romana and Black History Month Florence and which is now in its second edition, interweaves different areas and time periods. The narratives that emerged from this excavation exercise are fragments of a little-known, if not completely unknown Florence and its political, social and economic entanglements with Africa, Africans and the Diaspora since the 15th century.
The work ranges from research centres par excellence, such as the Biblioteca Laurenziana and the Archivio del Risorgimento, to study centres known mainly to specialists, such as the Istituto Agronomico dell’Oltremare (now one of the headquarters of the Italian Agency for International Cooperation) and the Istituto Geografico Militare, to private collections in Palazzo Pitti with the treasure of the Grand Dukes. The second edition of Black Archive Alliance was carried out as a tutoring format with teachers and scholars in tandem with students, guiding their research. The project collaborated with scholars from Università degli Studi Firenze, Studio Arts College International, NYU Florence, Villa I Tatti, Syracuse University Florence, Santa Reparata International School of Art and ISI Florence.
The exhibition at Murate Art District presents a selection of the research results and links to the exhibition format of Black Archive Alliance’s first edition, which used information stands at various locations and institutions in the city to reveal the unknown or forgotten stories of moments of contact and encounters between Florence and Africa.
Curated by Justin Randolph Thompson, BHMF and Agnes Stillger, Villa Romana