Growing up in Spain as a WOC has not always been easy. Modern Spain is very much a new country since the death of Francisco Franco in 1975 and the Spanish Constitution of 1978. And although Spain has always had a rich Black history for centuries (the Moors, African slavery etc), it is still coming to terms with it’s own identity and history - Not just on a regional level (each region has it’s own food, music, cultural festivals etc) but also in how other cultures play a big role in today’s Spanish society too.
Thankfully, these are exciting progressive times! Now, more than ever, there are groups and organisations that hold space and represent different cultures in Spain. In particular, the amount of organisations celebrating Black culture and influences from the African diaspora in Spain is growing rapidly. These places showcase what it means to be an Afro-Spaniard and invites international members of the Black community to get involved too.
Let me share 5 of my favourite organisations to meet like-minded people and enjoy social events:
Don’t forget to check out the links in the titles and main website information below for more updates of events coming up!
After the Afroconciencia 2016 festival, it was obvious that there is a need to work on the construction of an annual space to deal with the different themes related to the African and African-descendant community in Spain. This festival has a variety of projects that everyone can get involved in: Workshops, talks and debates, mmet-ups and more. The aim is to share knowledge with the use of the tools provided by the Centro de Creación Contemporánea Matadero. They encourage the youth of the African and Afro-descendant community, and all interested persons, to participate in this exciting project. Don;t miss the next Afroconciencia festival!
Black Barcelona is a collective of people in Barcelona who get together for cultural events and shows, to share information and inspiration and to keep up with what is going on in the community.
Casa África works around two objectives that complement each other. On the one hand, to bring Africa closer to Spain and to Spanish public opinion, incorporating the knowledge and participation of Africans and their institutions. The other major objective is to work closely with African institutions and societies to know their interests and priorities, helping to identify their potential counterparts and promote contact.
Afro Emprende, are some prizes to promote and value the African and Afro-descendant company in Spain and it is an entrepreneurship laboratory for young people.
Based in Madrid (since 2005), it began with collaboration of the University of the Balearic Islands (from the Muunganiko project in 2003) and its Pan-African magazine of Social Sciences “Nsibidi” - Offering information, training and assistance. The current president of the Pan-African Center and Director of the Center for Pan-African Studies is Professor Antumi Toasijé.
There you have it! The African community is not only present, but growing stronger and more vocal every day. It brings together people from all parts of the diaspora, and the base of it all is a love for Afro-culture and a deeply-rooted desire to see this community grow and thrive!
Tera Kaur is an African-Spanish life-long traveller and TCK (Third-Culture-Kid), growing up in different countries. Working as a yoga teacher and holistic therapist (Tera Kaur Yoga), she is currently based in both London and Barcelona. Healthy natural living and travel is her true passion and she loves to share this in her blogs OM Barcelona and Holistic Locs.