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Aimé Césaire: Poetry, Surrealism and Négritude

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September 10, 2021 – January 2, 2022

Aimé Césaire: Poetry, Surrealism and Négritude explores the rich world of Aimé Césaire, surrealist poet and politician from the French Caribbean island of Martinique. Featuring selections from his powerful poems, this exhibition focuses on Césaire’s history, his role in the founding of the anti-colonial Négritude movement and his affiliation with Surrealism. Césaire once said about his writing: “Surrealism provided me with what I had been confusedly searching for.” 

While studying in Paris, Césaire co-founded Négritude, a movement that drew on Surrealism in developing an anti-colonialist awareness of Black culture. With his wife, fellow writer Suzanne Césaire, he founded the review Tropiques, which brought together a group of Martinican intellectuals to write anti-colonial poetry and essays influenced by Surrealism. In 1941, Césaire met Surrealism founder André Breton, who became his friend and supporter. When Césaire’s book-length poem Cahier d’un retour au pays natal (Notebook of a Return to the Native Land) was published in 1947, Breton said it “is nothing less than the greatest lyrical monument of our times.”

The exhibit is organized by The Dalí Museum and co-curated by Founder and Artistic Director of Studio@620 Bob Devin Jones and Dalí Museum Curator of Education Peter Tush.

This exhibit is held in the Raymond James Community Room on the ground floor of the Museum.