Jamaica Kincaid, Rosana Paulino, & Cheryl Finley—Art Museums & the Legacies of the Dutch Slave Trade

October 5, 2023

“History, Memory, and Legacy: Jamaica Kincaid, Rosana Paulino, and Cheryl Finley in Conversation” is the third session of “Art Museums and the Legacies of the Dutch Slave Trade: Curating Histories, Envisioning Futures,” presented by the Center for Netherlandish Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Harvard Art Museums, and Harvard University’s Department of History of Art and Architecture. This four-part program explores efforts by art museums to deploy their spaces and their collections—which are often enmeshed with colonialism and exploitation—to present more complete narratives of and perspectives on slavery and its legacies.

Renowned writer Jamaica Kincaid and groundbreaking visual artist Rosana Paulino will discuss their explorations of the history, memories, and legacies of slavery in their work. They will be joined in conversation by eminent art historian Cheryl Finley.


+ Explore works by Rosana Paulino: http://en.rosanapaulino.com.br/

+ Read Jamaica Kincaid’s “The Disturbances of the Garden,” The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/09/07/the-disturbances-of-the-garden

+ Read “Agassiz’s other photographs tell a global tale of scientific racism,” Harvard Gazette: https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2021/03/reflecting-on-louis-agassizs-lesser-known-images-from-brazil/

+ Watch the full series of videos from “Art Museums and the Legacies of the Dutch Slave Trade: Curating Histories, Envisioning Futures:” https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjiqsPexHHIKNBxGh49Rs8Ug8XQLTfGiC


+ Jamaica Kincaid, award winning writer;
+ Rosana Paulino, São Paulo–based artist whose work focuses on the position of Black women in Brazilian society;
+ Cheryl Finley, Director of the Atlanta University Center Art History + Curatorial Studies Collective and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Art History at Spelman College;
+ Rachel Burke, Ph.D. candidate, Department of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University;
+ David J. Roxburgh, Department Chair and Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Professor of Islamic Art History, Department of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University.

All works by Rosana Paulino © Rosana Paulino. Video Thumbnail Image: Rosana Paulino, “A Salvação das Almas?” (“The salvation of souls?),” 2017. Digital print on cloth and sewing. © Rosana Paulino.

Video: Recorded April 23, 2021. © President and Fellows of Harvard College. For questions related to permission for commercial use of this video, please contact the Department of Digital Imaging and Visual Resources at am_divr@harvard.edu.