A Pioneering Library Celebrating Afro-Puerto Rican Culture and Diaspora Art Opens in Puerto Rico

In a cultural initiative led by Casa Silvana, the acclaimed Afro-Puerto Rican artist and curator, Edwin Velázquez Collazo, in association with AICA-USA, has unveiled a remarkable institution on the island of Puerto Rico. On September 4th, La Afroteca opened its doors as the sole library dedicated to the visual arts of the African diaspora and Afro-Puerto Rican culture.

With an extensive collection boasting over 300 books that delve into the art and artists of the African diaspora hailing from the United Kingdom, Africa, Canada, the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean, La Afroteca emerges as a vital repository aimed at amplifying Afro aesthetics and global Afro art movements.

Casa Silvana, as a dynamic cultural space, not only endeavors to champion Afro-Puerto Rican artistic expression but also embraces the broader mission of disseminating knowledge about the art of the African diaspora through its rich bibliographic resources. La Afroteca’s mandate is to provide access to scholars, curators, historians, students, and artists, thus establishing itself as a hub for research, gatherings, and exhibitions dedicated to black and Afro-descendant art.

The establishment of this specialized library focused on Afro-descendant art literature is set to facilitate access to an ever-expanding and regularly updated bibliographic collection with profound cultural significance. It will illuminate the enduring contributions of Afro-descendants to the art world while emphasizing the importance of diversity and the decolonization of cultural institutions. Above all, it is a space that beckons the strengthening of scholarly exploration into the art of the African diaspora.

In an exciting development, Casa Silvana will offer a one-week micro-residency program tailored for researchers, curators, and art historians with a keen interest in Afro art. This program is designed to support those engaged in thesis or publication research. The residency includes accommodations equipped with amenities such as bunk beds, a refrigerator, table, television, and internet access. Additionally, the facility provides bathroom facilities with hot water in the shower, a kitchen, and other communal areas (personal and food expenses during the stay will be the responsibility of the applicant).

For those eager to explore the comprehensive catalog of the African Diaspora Art Collection and the Afro-Puerto Rican Culture Collection, including recent acquisitions, online access is available at the following link: https://www.librarycat.org/lib/casasilvana.

It’s important to note that access to LA AFROTECA is by appointment only, allowing two individuals per day. The library operates on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 12:00 to 5:00 pm. While the books are accessible within the library’s premises, they are not available for borrowing. La Afroteca is situated at Casa Silvana, Carretera 938 KO H6 Camino Los Marcano, Barrio Mambiche Prieto / Sector El Jobo Humacao, Puerto Rico, 00791 (We recommend using Google Maps for navigation).

For inquiries and appointments, please reach out to casasilvanapr@gmail.com.

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