Artists Works in Progress

Karen Jaime

(Spanish Abstract)

In a previous project I explored the historical suppression of African ancestry in the Dominican Republic, embodied by the construction of racial categories from the 16th-19th centuries that negated the existence of persons of African descent from Dominican national identity. However, this process did not occur without significant resistance, a prime example being the religious/socio-cultural practice of Dominican Vudú and its musical corollary, Palo. Through my performance in the Artist Works in Progress workgroup I seek to demonstrate how vudú serves to transmit cultural memory of African
traditions in the Dominican Republic. In other words, how vudú served not only as a means for religious/artistic expression, but more importantly a socio-political tool challenging eurocentric notions of Domincaness. Indeed, my piece represents a continuation of the struggle to reinsert the African in the Dominican collective conscious.