In the tracks of the impossible
Arising from experiences of slavery and exile, flamenco was strongly influenced, (re)created, and (re)imagined by black people who lived in southern Spanish cities for over 400 years. Despite consistent and intentional erasure, the fact is that between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, there was an important Black presence in the Iberian Peninsula. When I began research for Gurumbé: Canciones de tu Memoria Negra (2016) (Gurumbé: Afro-Andalucian Memories), I set out to reveal this history, to break this silence and expulsion that denies the history and legacy—and the humanity—of Afro-Andalusians. And under the many layers of silencing the memory of Spanish Afrodescendants, I found that Black memory had survived in the body. In flamenco, it created a discourse of resistance in the fact of the oppressors which has transcended time and history.
Keywords: flamenco, Andalucia, Black Spain, Gurumbé