C&AL: What is Corredor Afro and what is the importance of having this space in Loiza?
Marta Moreno Vega: It goes between the professional and the personal. My dad and grandmother were born in Loiza. Throughout my history, I have been bringing my children to Loiza. I was born in El Barrio in Manhattan, New York, so it was very important that my children understood they had roots here in Puerto Rico.
As the director of El Museo del Barrio, I deep dived into learning the history and the traditions, meeting artists, educators, researchers, and understanding the history of Puert Rico. That process developed into a love affair with the island. I like to think of Corredor Afro as a crossroads. The idea is to bridge the pieces of the puzzle that have been distributed around the world because of enslavement and before enslavement, understanding the accomplishments our people have made around the world. Look for example at the documentation that has yet to be fully embraced, let’s say the work of Ivan Van Sertima, They Came Before Columbus (1976). His book shows that there were Africans in the Americas before enslavement. Making those intelligences that keep being marginalized central to the discussion, aesthetic and vocabulary that we use as an African people.