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Event Details

Tue, February 13, 2018

18:00 – 19:00

Villa La Pietra
Via Bolognese, 120
50139 Firenze, Italy

A lecture by Cécile Fromont, University of Chicago.

Charting the origins and significance of the use of two types of specifically colored cloth in west central Africa, this lecture investigates visual, material, and social change in that region during the era of the slave trade. White uniforms worn by Christian church leaders and blue and white imported textiles, it argues, are two key examples that reveal how the inhabitants of the closely related regions of Kongo, Angola, and Loango welcomed and managed the novelties their sustained cross-cultural relations with Europeans and engagement in the slave trade ushered between the sixteenth and the nineteenth century. It reveals profound links between religion, power, and the slave trade and their bearing on central Africa from the early modern period to the eve of the colonial era.

In collaboration with La Pietra Dialogues and Black History Month Florence.

Featured Biographies

Cécile Fromont


Cécile Fromont is associate professor of Art History and the College at the University of Chicago. Her writing and teaching focus on the visual, material, and religious culture of Africa and Latin America with a special emphasis on the early modern period (ca 1500-1800) and on the Portuguese-speaking Atlantic World. She is the author of The Art of Conversion: Christian Visual Culture in the Kingdom of Kongo published in 2014.