Rescue and enhancement of African heritage in the Canary Islands



REALIZATION ENTITY: University of Las Palmas de Gram Canaria

ENTITY / ES FINANCIADORA / S: Fundación CajaCanarias / Fundación La Caixa

DURATION: 03/01/2019 - 03/01/2022


  • Alberto Bachiller Gil (ULPGC)
  • María Teresa Cáceres Lorenzo (IATEXT-ULPGC)
  • Vicente Javier Díaz García (ULPGC)
  • María del Pino Medina Brito (ULPGC)
  • Claudio Moreno Medina (ULPGC)
  • Maureen Mulligan (ULPGC)
  • Juan Manuel Parreño (ULPGC)
  • Germán Santana Pérez (IATEXT-ULPGC)
  • Juan Manuel Santana Pérez (IATEXT-ULPGC)
  • Ana Ruth Vidal Luengo (IATEXT-ULPGC)


The project aims to establish a catalog, map and routes of African heritage in the Canary Islands. We believe that the rescue of this rich and varied heritage should serve to raise awareness of our African heritage, while contributing to greater acceptance and tolerance of the other. Despite its ignorance, the presence of African heritage is found on all the islands, increasing century after century due to extensive contacts with Africa. In this sense, it must be remembered that the Canary Islands had the highest percentage of slaves in Spain during the Modern Stage, it made incursions into this continent, suffered corsair attacks with this origin, it has been a traditional gateway to and from those lands, it is a border territory and has been and is a transit and acclimatization point for people, animals and plants. & nbsp;

The project aims in the first place to locate and establish the heritage points of this African heritage, making a catalog and a location map, in which it is aware of its status, conservation and access. At the same time, he wants to draw up a route in which this heritage is related and that can be used as an original tourist attraction outlet for the Canary Islands (almost unique within the European Union) that can act as a pole to generate wealth for its own value. In this sense, the project considers essential the enhancement of this heritage. Our wealth and the survival of the African in past times (we will always stick to the period after the conquest) and up to the almost current times means that we find elements in all the islands and even in all the areas within each island (museums, burials , toponymy, fortifications and works financed with the slave trade, archaeological remains, representations of Africans, documentation, photographic and audiovisual material, artistic works from or influenced from Africa, African words, music and traditional dances influenced from this continent, etc. .).

In the same way, this proposal aims to contribute to reinforcing the idea of ​​miscegenation in an Atlantic island space by making known one of the little-known aspects of our History, the African contribution.

At the same time, as it is an interdisciplinary work, it aims to relate History and heritage with Geography, Archeology, Philology, Architecture, Tourism and Business Management.

The central hypothesis of the project is that we can create a new focus of tourist attraction, which generates employment and wealth, through the enhancement of our

heritage, in this case, the African heritage. We believe that this fact is so varied, original and diverse, that it has so many island specificities that it can make it attractive and original for the visitor.


  • Realization of a catalog of African heritage in the Canary Islands.
  • Making a map of the African heritage in the Canary Islands. It will incorporate photogrammetry, which includes three-dimensional modeling of the goods that can be worked with this method.
  • Articulation of a Route of African heritage in the Canary Islands, with special relevance to slavery (one per island). With this work already carried out, it is the intention of the members of this project to incorporate the Canary Islands into the Slave Route sponsored by UNESCO and of which other Atlantic centers are already part.
  • A publication in an impact editorial on the subject of African Heritage in the Canary Islands.
  • Preparation of a web page with the necessary content (texts, maps, images, shorts) for the dissemination of African heritage in the Canary Islands. This specific web page will be included in other pages and social networks with the aim that its reach reaches the largest possible part of the public, both nationally and internationally.
  • Organization of an international seminar on African Heritage, where we link the idea of ​​disseminating the African heritage of the Canary Islands.
  • Presentation with five papers at international conferences where the idea of ​​the Canarian African heritage is disseminated.
  • Five scientific articles in high-impact journals by members of the research team on this topic.
  • Preparation of brochures in several languages ​​that will facilitate the access of tourists to the centers where the main elements of the Route are located. The distribution of these brochures in Canarian institutions and by companies linked to the tourism sector will regularly spread the synthesized results of the project
  • Dissemination in Canarian secondary and primary education centers (at least in six) where the richness of our African heritage is disseminated and the idea that the African heritage is also part of our culture. In this framework of talks, emphasis will be placed on the promotion of tolerance, respect and the cultural appreciation of the "other". The project contemplates educational work from equality and justice.