African Venice

Various authors

African Venice

P. Kaplan, S. Bassi
African Venice cover.

African Venice is the first guidebook to the extensive historical and contemporary African presence in the City of the Lagoons. A set of ten walking tours highlight images of Black people in Venetian art from the Middle Ages to the present, the afterlife of Shakespeare’s Othello, the painful local legacies of slavery and Italian colonialism, as well as the remarkable visibility of African and Afro-descendant artists artists at the Venice Biennale. These tours are enriched by more than twenty essays, poems and reflections, which celebrate, question and reimagine Venice’s Black past and present. From medieval and Renaissance paintings and sculpture to contemporary artworks, from early modern documents to postcolonial voices, African Venice will show you the city as you have never seen it.

About the author

Paul Kaplan is Professor of Art History at Purchase College, SUNY. The author of The Rise of the Black Magus in Western Art (1985) and a major contributor to Harvard University Press’s The Image of the Black in Western Art series (2010-2012), he served as Project Scholar for Fred Wilson’s Speak of Me as I Am, an installation in the American Pavilion of the 2003 Venice Biennale.

Shaul Bassi is Professor of English at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. His publications include Shakespeare’s Italy and Italy’s Shakespeare. Place, ‘Race’, and Politics (2016), Turbo Road. Il Kenya, i suoi scrittori, un bambino (2023) and Venice and the Anthropocene. An Ecocritical Guide (co-edited, 2022). He is the co-founder of Venice international literary festival Incroci di civiltà.