An online IASH Work-in-Progress seminar, delivered by Dr Paola Vargas Arana (Postdoctoral Fellow 2022-23)
Life journeys of Africans in the Antioquia gold mines of New Granada during the British "asiento" (1713-1750)
This presentation is part of my broader research that aims to re-humanise the African victims of the transatlantic slave trade by contextualising their life histories within a broad global framework, while placing their contributions at the centre of the colonial history of the Americas. I take as my starting point the African names that appear in documentation found in Colombian archives to trace the path to their African origins, and then follow the brutal journeys that led them to the New Granada gold mines of Antioquia. Although Africans were introduced to these mines from the 16th century onwards, my ongoing work is on those Africans who arrived in the first half of the 18th century, when the British had the official monopoly on the sale of African enslaved people to the Spanish colonies. I will therefore discuss documentation that I have cross-referenced from Colombia, Spain and the UK. One of the challenges of this research has been the lack of digitisation and accessibility of Colombian documentation. Thus, as part of the IASH Fellowship, I worked with a team from the Universities of Edinburgh and Bristol which received a major grant from the British Library's Endangered Archives Programme, and so I will explain the progress of the project, which is now underway.
Please note that this seminar is online-only - click the link below to join the webinar: