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Cluster of Excellence EXC 2052 - "Africa Multiple: reconfiguring African Studies"

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Conversation: “Re-Existence of African Spirituality in Colombia”

2021-10-19 10:15 to 11:45
S22, GEO II, Bayreuth University


RS Moralities, Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence

Speaker: Dr. Rigoberto Banguero Velasco, University of Valle (Colombia)
Mediators/translators: Valerie Gruber & Dr. Gilbert Shang Ndi, University of Bayreuth

This conversation aims at exploring Afro-descendant spirituality and the relations between the sacred and the profane in Colombia. We give insight into the cultural construction of the magical-religious system by analyzing ancestral and spiritual practices (funeral systems, liturgy, corporality, rituals and living saints) in the territories historically occupied by Afro-descendant peoples in Colombia. After outlining the internal connections resulting from the translocation of cultures since the 18th century, we analyze how social, religious and “pagan” practices (re)signify individual and collective existences through spirituality. We reflect on how the representations of the sacred are reproduced in different communities. As such, we draw attention to the fact that in Colombia, possession cults such as those of Candomblé, Santeria or Voodoo did not flourish in the same way as in Brazil, Cuba or Haiti. This opens up a discussion on the conditions of re-existence of Afro-diasporic spirituality in the Americas.

The presentation will be held in Spanish and translated consecutively into English.



Rigoberto Banguero Velasco is lecturer at the University of Valle (Colombia). He holds a PhD in Humanities and a Master’s in Popular Education and Community Development. Among his recent publications are: Derecho indígena en Colombia (Cali: Poemia, 2021, with Elizabeth Correa Vidal), Historicidad y culturalidad afro en el norte del Cauca (Cali: Poemia, 2020), and Territorialidad en los Reales de Minas en el norte del Cauca, 1851-1930 (Cali: Programa Editorial Univalle, 2018).

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