"black atlantic" by nancy cunard
"Negro Anthology" (1931-1934)
About the exhibition
"80 years ago, on 15 February 1934, Englishwoman Nancy Cunard (1896-1965), a symbol of the Anglo-Saxon and French avant-garde of the early 20th century, published Negro Anthology. Lavishly illustrated, this 858-page book, resembling a major documentary enquiry, blends popular culture, sociology, politics, history, art history in the form of articles, archives, photographs, extracts from the press, musical scores, eye-witness accounts etc."
The contributors were militants, journalists, artists, university staff; African-Americans, people from the Caribbean, Africa, Latino-America, America, Europe; women and men. Some of them had been colonised, discriminated against, segregated. This anthology was both a history of the black Americas and of Africa through time but also a political and cultural history of its time. It also revealed the transnational and multi-faceted character of the anti-racist and anti-colonialist struggles of the 1930s, and illustrates the international and transcultural formation that Paul Gilroy called "the Black Atlantic". Negro Anthology thus carries the reader on a journey between the black Americas, Africa and Europe.
Nancy Cunard was a poet, model, editor, collector, militant, journalist and anti-conformist who symbolises a period in which the artistic and literary avant-garde became intertwined with the political world. Through the great themes examined in Negro Anthology we will present the transnational artistic, literary and political networks constructed by Nancy Cunard in the years between 1910 and 1930, and which have made this anthology a monument to black history. — Sarah Frioux-Salgas.