“Banana Craze” is a special lecture hosted by the School of Art that will bring together an art historian, a curator, and an artist.
Until the end of the nineteenth-century bananas were considered an exotic fruit and were virtually unknown in American consumer culture. Today, they occupy a mayor role in popular culture and are globally consumed due their low price and nutritional benefits. But how did bananas become icons of violence, sexual symbols, and representations of underdevelopment? In this panel Dr. Blanca Serrano Ortiz (Project Director at ISLAA) and Dr. Juanita Solano Roa (Assistant Professor at the Universidad de Los Andes) will uncover the history of this complex fruit through the presentation of Banana Craze, a digital humanities project curated by them. Banana Craze investigates the impact of the banana monoculture in the America’s through the examination of 100 works by contemporary Latin American and Latinx artists. The event will also include a conversation with Costa Rican artist Victoria Cabezas whose work addresses issues of gender and identity construction in Central America against the racist stereotype of “Banana Republics.”