Black Surrealist Lives Matter

Don’t know many Surrealists of colour? Here’s a list to get you started.

This list is grotesquely partial, shamelessly tendentious, and obviously incomplete. You’re invited to make your own additions by adding comments.

Agustín Cárdenas

Aimé Césaire

Étienne Léro

Georges Henein

Jayne Cortez

Juan Breà

Jorge Camacho


René Ménil

Ronnie Burk

Simone Yoyotte

Suzanne Césaire

Ted Joans

Wifredo Lam

Will Alexander

Will Alexander’s reading begins at 5.35 timestamp.

So Hot It’s Not Even Off The Press Yet

The recently founded Middle East And North Africa Surrealist Group are wildly active right now. The second issue of their journal The Room will be devoted to the theme “Surrealism And Africa”.

(Somewhat) Useful Secondary Sources

Robin D. G. Kelly, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination (Beacon Press, 2002), chapter 6

Jean-Claude Michel, The Black Surrealists (Peter Lang, 2000)

Michael Richardson (ed.), Refusal Of The Shadow: Surrealism And The Caribbean (Verso, 1996)

Franklin Rosemont & Robin D. G. Kelley (eds), Black, Brown, & Beige: Surrealist Writings From Africa And The Diaspora (University of Texas Press, 2009)

Photograph of sculpture by Agustín Cárdenas in the public domain.
Ronnie Burk video via earinsound YouTube channel.
Will Alexander video via CHAX YouTube channel.

My thanks to Paul Cowdell for his help with compiling the list.

Take a peek behind the veil.

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3 thoughts on “Black Surrealist Lives Matter

    1. Thanks! Yeah, those are both names I hesitated over: in Zangana’s case because her affiliation with the Surrealist movement seems to have been rather brief, and in Mansour’s because although she grew up in Cairo, she was not actually of Egyptian/North African descent. (Or that’s my understanding, at least; I could of course be wrong.)

      1. Good points! If I remember correctly her family were not of Arabic descent but rather Sephardic.

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