Afro Uruguay: Forward Together

Sample footage from the work in progress

Afro Uruguay: Forward Together is a documentary film about the Afro Uruguayan community, its unique history, rich musical traditions, and contemporary struggles for uplift and change.

Palermo graffiti artUruguayans of African heritage make up about 10% of the country’s population.  And while they have not suffered the same kinds of brutal repression as African Americans did in their struggle during the last century for equal rights, Afro Uruguayans remain economically marginalized.  Of the estimated population of about 300,000 fewer than 200 have attended college and the vast majority is stuck in low wage jobs as maids, janitors and other unskilled labor.

Elizabeth headshotAmong those fighting for a better tomorrow is Elizabeth Suárez, the head of a group struggling to build a cultural center for Uruguayans of African descent in Palermo, a once proud, now impoverished neighborhood.  Living with her sisters in a multi-family dwelling in the heart of black Montevideo, she braids hair to make a living and is active as a women’s rights advocate, Afro Uruguayan activist, and candombe dancer. Her family’s story includes brutal displacement from their historic community under the Uruguayan dictatorship (1973-1984), and a resilient return to their beloved neighborhood of Palermo.

Forward Together, brings the little-known community of Uruguayans of African descent into a more robust cultural framework that highlights its unique place in Uruguay, as well as in the larger African Diaspora of the Americas.

Journey into the heart of South America…and look to a new tomorrow through the lives of two courageous people using culture, courage and ingenuity to secure a brighter future for their people.

We Need Your Help to Finish This Film.

Make a tax-deductible contribution to support AFRO URUGUAY: FORWARD TOGETHER.  Iris Films is a not-for-profit organization and all donations and gifts are tax exempt to the fullest extent allowed by law.

The project is directed by Pamela Harris and co-produced by Pamela Harris and the bestselling, Uruguayan-American novelist Carolina De Robertis.

Questions, comments? We’d love to hear from you. Write to us at


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