Gabinete Fang: A Project about Memory, History, and Colonial Legacies in 20th and 21st Century Equatorial Guinea and Spain

Venue: KJCC Auditorium • 53 Washington Square South


6 p.m. Gabinete Fang, Exhibition Opening

7 p.m. Roundtable discussion about the origin, context, and response to the Gabinete Fang project with Jorge Blasco, Benita Sampedro Vizcaya (Hofstra), Jane Anderson (NYU) and Kristen Joy Owens (NYU).

Reception to follow.

Free and open to the public. No registration required.

Gabinete Fang, or the “Fang Cabinet,” is a project that seeks to explore how memories (historical and personal, national and institutional, archival and artistic, oral and corporeal) are drawn, appropriated, stored, and brought back out again as part of a prolonged (and often violent) history of the colonial legacies of Equatorial Guinea and Spain, and how the institutional placement of those records contain hidden or “tacit” stories that move across time and place, into the present.

Coordinated by Jorge Blasco, KJCC Scholar-in-Residence for 2023-2024, the project is part of a year-long inquiry that began in Spring 2023 with an undergraduate seminar and extends through this academic year with an exhibition, website, roundtable, and various lectures. The project was undertaken with the cooperation of Barcelona’s Museu Etnològic i Cultures del Món (Museum of Ethnology and World Cultures.) This museum is home to a unique collection of archival documents, including catalog cards that feature tattoos of the Fang people from Equatorial Guinea. These catalog cards were created by José Barberá Farrás, who based them on the original drawings made by the Catalan primatologist Jordi Sabater i Pi during the 1950s, during Francisco Franco's dictatorship. The questions raised by these documents are further extended by their historical journey through the museum’s archive and later through their exhibition and (re)publication.

The exhibition and accompanying website were developed in collaboration with NYU students and include the reproduction of a selection of these archival cards accompanied by texts by academics and non-academics, with contributions by NYU students, leading scholars, and a young Equatoguinean named Estela del Carmen Mbessa Alais from L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, near Barcelona, Spain.


Jorge Blasco

Jorge Blasco Gallardo is a researcher, writer and independent curator. He has devoted most of his career to the study of archives and their activations, and everything having to do with the verb “to archive.” He has been a regular advisor to the Territorio Archivo project of the FCAYC (León), curating projects like the Mesuras exhibition document management system. As a teacher at the Elisava University School in Barcelona he has dedicated himself to the didactic development of everything that is not art, but without which it could not exist.

Benita Sampedro Vizcaya (Hofstra)

Benita Sampedro Vizcaya is professor of Spanish colonial studies at Hofstra University. Her research engages –academically and politically— with colonial pasts and presents, archives, and legacies, both in North and sub-Saharan Africa and in Latin America and the Caribbean. She is invested in the study of colonial links within and beyond the frame of the multiple Spanish imperial Atlantic and global networks, and she has published extensively on the politics and processes of decolonization, colonial health and biopolitics, colonial domestic labor, colonial carceral systems, the colonial politics of meteorology, colonial archives, the intersections of gender, science and colonialism, border mobility and migration, and on the ruins of late colonial modernity. For further details and a selected list of publications, please visit her Hofstra University profile: https://www.hofstra.edu/faculty-staff/faculty-profile.html?id=1313

Jane Anderson (NYU)

Jane Anderson (settler/immigrant) is Associate Professor in Anthropology and Museum Studies and Global Fellow in the Engelberg Center for Innovation Law and Policy in the Law School at New York University in Lenapehoking. Jane holds a PhD in Law from the University of New South Wales, Australia. Their work is focused on intellectual and cultural property law and the protection of Indigenous/traditional knowledge and data. For the last 25 years Jane has worked for and with Indigenous communities to find, access, control, and regain authority and ownership of Indigenous cultural and intellectual property and Indigenous data. Jane is co-founder of the not-for-profit organization Local Contexts - a global initiative that supports Indigenous communities. In 2019 with their colleague Maui Hudson (Whakatohea) they also founded the Equity for Indigenous Research and Innovation Co-ordinating Hub (ENRICH). ENRICH is focused on the development of Indigenous based protocols, Indigenous centered standard-setting mechanisms, and machine-focused technology.

Kristen Joy Owens (NYU)

Kristen J. Owens is a curator and librarian whose research interests center on the study of Black visual and material culture. Kristen explores the intersections of Black cultural studies, fashion studies, and the visual arts. As the inaugural Black Lunch Table Wikimedia Fellow, she curated the exhibit [action=query]: Black Arts and Black Aesthetics in collaboration with Pace Gallery. Kristen holds an MA in visual culture: costume studies and an MS in library and information science from New York University’s dual degree program with Long Island University.

She received a BA in fashion studies from Montclair State University. Kristen is currently the Librarian for African American and Black Diaspora Studies at New York University Libraries.

Website: Gabinete Fang -