Uffizi, “Black Presence”, the project that tells the story of African culture in Renaissance Europe


From Saturday 4 July, on the occasion of the United States Declaration of Independence, videos and live broadcasts on the social networks of the Galleries offer food for thought in the debate on racial themes that animates the news and the current political discussion

FLORENCE – At the Uffizi Galleries, along with Botticelli’s Venus, Caravaggio’s Medusa, Michelangelo’s Toni Doni and many other masterpieces, there is a large presence of works in which a central role is entrusted to “black”, historical, biblical characters or mythological.

From the need to go and rediscover the artistic elements of black culture disseminated in the Uffizi collection, the project was born “Black Presence”. At its center, videos and direct on the social networks of the Galleries: through the thematic exploration of a group of nine paintings with African protagonists, the social and cultural presence of that continent in the consciousness of Renaissance Europe is illustrated and contextualized, bearing witness to the extremely fruitful exchange relationship that already took place between these two areas of the planet.

At the same time, the project also offers food for thought in the debate on racial issues that animates the news and current political discussion.

“Black Presence” kicks off on Saturday 4 July, on the anniversary of the United States Declaration of Independence, with a double live event on the Uffizi social networks: on Tik Tok, from 8 pm, Justin Randolph Thompson, director and co-founder of Black History Month Florence , a festival dedicated to black culture organized annually in Florence, in a walk through the corridors and halls of the museum will tell the works, also focusing on the instances of racial equality recently returned to the limelight.

To follow, on Facebook, from 9 pm, always live from the Gallery of Statues and Paintings, the multi-instrumentalist of Burkina Faso Gabin Dabirè will perform in a concert with traditional African instruments in front of the Perseus who frees Andromeda by Piero di Cosimo.

To complete the event “Black Presence” will be a series of eight videos published every Saturday on Facebook, starting from July 4th, where Thompson will illustrate in detail each painting of the social review.

“The Uffizi – explains the director Eike Schmidt – they are not a ‘turris eburnea’ of art and indeed in their collections they include the great contemporary themes: through art the museum can tell the great story of the past and bring works to life in the present. In fact, the masterpieces speak a universal language that helps not only to better understand their time, but also the future we intend to build “.

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