Der Black Atlantic

Black Atlantic

Texts in German
Softcover, 21,5 x 27,5 cm
432 pages, 102 mainly coloured illustrations
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, 2004
ISBN 3-9808851-5-1
Price: € 23

Out of print, possibly available in antiquarian bookshops. Book on

The book Black Atlantic is the first ever compilation of texts and visual media of various genres and disciplines published in German-speaking countries to examine the idea of the Black Atlantic. In addition to original essays by the curators (Paul Gilroy, Tina Campt and Fatima El-Tayeb) and interviews with the artists (Isaac Julien, Keith Piper, Lisl Ponger, Tim Sharp, Jean-Paul Bourelly and Ismael Ivo), it contains academic and poetic texts by internationally known thinkers and poets who are concerned with Black history and histories in Europe and across the globe.

Poet and Nobel literature prize winner Derek Walcott examines the significance and form of Caribbean historiography. Sociologist, philosopher and poet Eduoard Glissant develops a poetics of relationships. Author and essayist Alejo Carpentier expounds a vivid theory of Cuban music, and Susan Buck-Morss, historian and media scientist, reflects upon the importance of the Haitian Revolution for Hegel’s philosophy.

Historical recordings documenting the origins of jazz, German postcards from the 1850s to 1930s presenting views of black culture, and large illustrations of the works of the artists involved in the project (Isaac Julien, Keith Piper, Tim Sharp and Lisl Ponger) give an idea of the richly varied visual world of the Black Atlantic.

Other authors include Stuart Hall, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Michel-Rolph Trouillot, May Ayim and Richard Wright.

Proceeding from the question as to how we can reflect upon transatlantic history today, this volume encourages us to read the history of the Black Atlantic against the grain, trace the landscapes of sound and music, examine the role of improvisation and take an analytical look at life in the Diaspora.

Its publication coincides with the interdisciplinary Black Atlantic project at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, which presents cultures in motion, draws our attention to networked identities, and relates counter histories. The Black Atlantic project has its historical point of departure in both the slave trade and the history of the modern African Diaspora in the Western world.