El arte latinoamericano: Wifredo Lam

In my Spanish classes, the art unit is my favorite one to teach.  I had decided to devote a week to Central and South American artists in my pre-AP Spanish classes, but I realized that, due to my limited knowledge and resources, I did not have enough content for an entire week. My solution was to pair art and literature. I love how the lessons turned out.  I started with Cuba: Wifredo Lam and Nicolás Guillén.

I think that Lam’s most-recognized work is “La jungla” and that is what we analyzed.

Do Now:  “La jungla“
Observa este cuadro. ¿En qué te hace pensar? ¿Qué te hace sentir?


Then students read what Lam said about this painting, found here http://www.artequin.cl/portfolio/wifredo-lam/, and answered the following question:

  1. ¿Cuál de las afirmaciones mejor expresa la idea principal del párrafo?
    A.Quiere inspirar orgullo en las raíces africanas de los cubanos.
    B.Desea capturar la gran belleza natural de Cuba.
    C.Intenta demostrar la liberación de Cuba de poderes extranjeros.
    D.Añora (extraña) el continente africano de sus ancestros.
    E.Retrata la esclavitud de los africanos en Cuba por parte de los colonizadores.

Next I asked them to compare the landscape and the people in the painting with a photo of a sugar plantation and sugar cane.Jungla y foto

Next, we watched part of a video promoting a documentary about Afro-Latinos at https://vimeo.com/8705091. We watched the first 2 minutes and 44 seconds.

africa cuba

After that, we read a “cápsula cultural” from Triángulo Aprobado 5a edición about Cuba and sincretismo.  I asked them the following questions about the brief reading:

  1. ¿Qué es “sincretismo” según el contexto del párrafo?
  2. Explica lo que significa la última oración: “El sincretismo confirma que se puede dejar la casa, pero nunca el hogar.”

We could have done more with afro-latinos, but we talk about that again in AP when we read “La balada de los dos abuelos.”

Finally, we read along as we listened to Nicolás Guillén’s poem “Sensemayá.” It is a poem that really needs to be heard. In retrospect, I could have spent some time on the “son” so students could understand the poem further.

Here is the text: Sensemayá and here is the audio, recited by Guillén himself: https://youtu.be/jAo35AhaMJ8

I asked the following questions about the poem:

  1. Escucha el poema “Sensemayá” por Nicolás Guillén. ¿Cómo te suena?
    A. Un canto o ritual
    B. Una canción
    C. Un cuento
    D. Un poema que rima
  2. ¿Qué quieren hacer con la culebra y por qué?
  3. Una anáfora es la repetición de la misma palabra o palabras al principio de varios versos. Subraya unos ejemplos de anáfora en “Sensemayá.”
  4. Guillén también usa mucha repetición en el poema, como “se esconde en la yerba.” ¿Cómo contribuyen las anáforas y la repetición al ritmo del poema?
  5. Considerando el contenido del poema y la historia de Cuba, ¿por qué escribiría Guillén este poema?

Finally, this is the question that I asked as their exit ticket:

  1. ¿Cómo se podría relacionar el poema “Sensemayá” con “La jungla”?

That is all for Wifredo Lam and Nicolás Guillén. When I have time, I will continue with the artists Joaquín Torres García and Xul Solar.

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One Response to El arte latinoamericano: Wifredo Lam

  1. Pingback: Brillante Viernes: July 3, 2015 | Maris Hawkins

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