The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
C. Daniel Dawson, a curator and scholar of African diaspora in arts and culture, writes of first meeting artist Manuel Vega on a trip to Bahia (Brazil) in 1984, where he witnessed his wondrous ability as a dancer. Dawson argues that this is an instance of the multifold abilities of what he calls a visionary artist of the twenty-first century. He states that Vega’s reflection on his own personal history as material for his art offers evidence of the possibility of coupling what is personal with the cultural. The author concludes by saying that in Vega’s work, the Bronx features as the center of a cultural universe that he has created, wherein he fuses his artistic, intellectual, and spiritual tendencies.
This essay was published as part of the catalogue for the 2001 exhibition, Nuyorican Ashé: Recent Works by Manuel Vega, held at the Caribbean Cultural Center.
Born and raised in the New York areas of South Bronx and East Harlem, Manuel Vega is a musician, scholar, and artist well versed in a variety of mediums. His research is fused with artistic representations of popular cultures and religious traditions through an Afro-Caribbean lens—from the South Bronx to Brazil. Vega has translated Yoruba iconography into the medium of mosaics; some of them assembled for the 110th Street and Lexington Avenue subway station in Manhattan.