Martha Posso

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Martha Posso
Datos generales
Nombre Martha Cecilia Posso Rosero
Nacionalidad Colombiana Bandera de Colombia }}
Ocupación Artista, socióloga y docente
Estudios universitarios Bellas Artes en la Institución Universitaria de Cali, estudios de sociología en la Universidad del Valle
País de nacimiento Colombia Bandera de Colombia }}
Ciudad de nacimiento Valle del Cauca

Martha Cecilia Posso Rosero is an artist, sociologist, and teacher from Valladolid, known for developing photographic projects on Afro-Colombian communities. In the last decade, her photographs have been included in collective exhibitions that highlight the traditions, identities, and issues facing Afro-Colombians, bringing together several artists belonging to these communities. She has participated in national and international exhibitions.


Martha Posso approached her interest in corporeality through painting at the start of her career and over the years moved into photography. After obtaining her degree in fine arts at Institución Universitaria de Cali, she carried out studies in sociology at Universidad del Valle, deepening the social nature of her work. A scholarship to study photography at the University of Luminy in Marseille, France, allowed her to go further both technically and theoretically in her medium of choice. At present she is a professor at Universidad del Pacífico.

Artistic career

In the early years of the new millennium, the artist developed the project Memorias de Resistencia (Memories of Resistance), a documentary and visual investigation on the resistance movements and rebellions of Afro-descendant peoples since the Spanish occupation of Colombian territory. In this work she approached the palenque of San Basilio, a village in the municipality of Mahates in the department of Bolívar. She spent time with the comunity, learning about their religious traditions, their language, and other social features of the life of San Basilio, a population that emerged in response to the European colonization enterprise in America from the fifteenth century and persists today, a valuable contribution to the country's multiculturalism. The research proposes relationships between the maroon settlements and their counterparts in Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, the Guianas, and the Caribbean.

Other projects and subsequent exhibitions have presented a visual perspective of the peoples of Colombia's Pacific region. Posso has participated in exhibitions such as Imágenes del Pacífico (Images of the Pacific), Tejiendo esperanza. Arte e identidad en el cabello afro (Afro, and Weaving Hope: Art and Identity in Afro Hair) in which she makes describes the construction of the social fabric, the transmission of cultural heritage, and the relationships between identity and gender in the communities of this portion of Colombia. In series such as Atrato and Río, she communicates her perspective on the link between Afro peoples and rivers, which have a clear organizing role in their family and social dynamics. In her photographs we see the impacts of disputes and conflicts over territory, river transport, and resource exploitation, as well as the historical abandonment of the region and its inhabitants on the part of the modern state.

Over the past two decades, the advancement of Afro-Colombian studies in the social sciences has built a dialogue with the visual perspectives of Afro artists. Martha Posso has shared her photographs to accompany editions of various books and research articles.[1][2] In her role as a professor in the visual art program at Universidad del Pacífico, she has been invited to speak and moderate events related to Afro-Colombian aesthetics.[3]

Characteristics of her work

Posso’s visual work has centered on corporeality and portraiture, at first through painting and at present through a photography practice that has a documentary purpose, aiming to capture the identities and corporeality of the Afro populations in contemporary Colombia. Her images take the form of the portrait and poetically explore the body as geography and ritual. From the perspective of the social sciences, her work is an exercise in memory on the presences, realities, and problems of Afro-Colombian populations.

Featured works

  • 1991-1999: Atrato
  • 2000: Imágenes del Pacífico (Images of the Pacific), series
  • 2001: Narciso (Narcissus), project
  • 2003: El palenque de San Basilio
  • 1969: Río
  • 2008: Peinados afro (Afro Hairdos)

Works by Martha Posso in the Banco de la República Collections

Works by Martha Posso in the Banco de la República Collecitons
Title Year Location Technique Registration number
Río 2003 - 2004 Reserve Photography AP4306


  • 1991: Presented work at the V Regional Artists' Salon, Cali.
  • 1992: Participated in the XXXIV National Artists' Salon
  • 1994: Completed her studies in visual arts at Instituto Departamental de Bellas Artes, Cali.
  • 1998: Participated in the 37th National Artists' Salon with the work Todo es sentido (Everything is Felt).
  • 2000: Completed an undergraduate degree in sociology at Universidad del Valle.
  • 2001: Participated in the exhibition Cimarronaje
  • 2002: Completed studies in photography at the University of Luminy in Marseille, France.
  • 2010: Participated in the exhibition New Acquisitions by Banco de la República at the Banco de la República Art Museum, now the Miguel Urrutia Art Museum (MAMU).
  • 2015: Participated in the exhibition Afro at the National University of Colombia in Medellin alongside the artists Fabio Melecio Palacios and Freddy Sánchez Caballero.
  • 2016: Presented at the exhibition Arte e identidad en el cabello (Art and Identity in Hair) in Cali, alongside Liliana Angulo, Ximena Vásquez, and Jairo Murillo.

See also


  1. Mosquera, C. y Barcelos, L. (2007). Afro-reparaciones: Memorias de la Esclavitud y Justicia Reparativa para negros, afrocolombianos y raizales. Bogotá, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Center for Social Studies.
  2. Sorribas, P. and Cabral, X. (2010). Acciones colectivas y expropiación de bienes naturales. Tácticas de resistencia a la invisibilización mediática y los reenmarcamientos estatales. Nómadas, 33, p. 147-163. Accessed at:
  3. Centro Colombo Americano (March 3, 2016). Diálogos sobre estética afrocolombiana. Accessed at:


1.Memorias del XII Encuentro de Pastoral Afrocolombiana, Cali, May 18-21, 2003. Artist resumé:

Banco de la República Art Collection


1.Research and text: Oscar David Rodríguez, mediator of Banco de la República museums and collections, for Banrepcultural.

2.Review and editing: Inti Camila Romero Estrada and Diana Marcela Salas Solórzano. Public and Educational Services, Art and Other Collections Unit (UAOC).