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Author(s): Conduru, Roberto
Date: 2014
Title: Southern modernity - the Agudás' architecture on the Bight of Benin
ISBN: 978-989-732-364-5
Keywords: Agudá
Afro-Brazilian architecture
Afro-Brazilian culture
Abstract: A special chapter in the history of the art in Africa happened between the beginning of the 19th and 20th centuries, on the Bight of Benin, in an area which today is covered by Nigeria, Benin and Togo, when and where an architecture was constructed by a group called agudá, a term used in that region to designate Africans and African descendants who own surnames of Portuguese origin. Part of this group was formed by slave merchants of Brazilian origin who traded captives from that African region. Another part was formed by former slaves who returned from Brazil. Related to each other, slave-traders, former slaves, their descendants and their households, produced an architecture that was more than life environment. Architecture was a key element, along with other objects and practices (lanscape design, photography, clothing, cuisine, sanitarism, behavior), that helped the agudás to maintain links with their experiences in Brazil (as well as connect them indirectly with Europe and other regions), enrich, distinguish themselves socially and even sometimes legitimize their authority. With a strong and clear presence in urban space, this architecture functioned as a sign of modernity in its broad sense: formally, technically, socio-culturally. As an architectural manifestation of the trans- Atlantic sociocultural exchanges, the agudás' architecture configures an unique moment in the history of architecture, art and culture, singled out not merely by the binding of different waves of modernization, but, above all, because it rised, mainly, from a dynamic established between social groups in the South.
Access type: Open Access
Appears in Collections:CEI-CLN – Capítulos de livros nacionais

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