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  2. Panel Explores the New Normal for U.S.-Cuba Relations
  3. Havana Rising: Movement and Hip-Hop in Havana | Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS)

How can this vibrant body of work be reconciled with the standard representations of a repressive, authoritarian cultural apparatus? In Cuba Represent!

Sujatha Fernandes—a scholar and musician who has performed in Cuba—answers that question. Paperback Cloth.


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  • Cuba Represent!: Cuban Arts, State Power, and the Making of New Revolutionary Cultures.

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Cuba Represent! Cuban Arts, State Power, and the Making of New Revolutionary Cultures

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Panel Explores the New Normal for U.S.-Cuba Relations

Filmmakers, rappers, and visual and performance artists have addressed sensitive issues including bureaucracy, racial and gender discrimination, emigration, and alienation. How can this vibrant body of work be reconciled with the standard representations of a repressive, authoritarian cultural apparatus?

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In Cuba Represent! Sujatha Fernandes—a scholar and musician who has performed in Cuba—answers that question. She demonstrates that in a moment of extreme hardship and uncertainty, the Cuban state has moved to a more permeable model of power. Artists and other members of the public are collaborating with government actors to partially incorporate critical cultural expressions into official discourse. The Cuban leadership has come to recognize the benefits of supporting artists: rappers offer a link to increasingly frustrated black youth in Cuba; visual artists are an important source of international prestige and hard currency; and films help unify Cubans through community discourse about the nation.

Cuba Represent! Her focus on various media music, film, visual art and her detailed ethnographic work allow her to document how topics such as gender, race, and politics surface constantly in Cuban art. Fernandes has demonstrated beyond any doubt the importance of culture as a space for progressive social discourse. Those who want to understand how the Cuban government managed to negotiate the crisis of the s should read this book. Sujatha Fernandes manages to offer a language that is truly interdisciplinary, moving successfully across the boundaries of the social sciences and the humanities.

At its rhythmic, beating heart, Close to the Edge asks whether hip hop can change the world.

Havana Rising: Movement and Hip-Hop in Havana | Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS)

Hip hop—rapping, beat-making,b-boying, deejaying, graffiti—captured the imagination of the teenage Sujatha Fernandes in the s, inspiring her and politicizing her along the way. In Cuba something curious has happened over the past fifteen years. The government has allowed vocal criticism of its policies to be expressed within the arts.


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Filmmakers, rappers, and visual and performance artists have addressed sensitive issues including bureaucracy, racial and gender discrimination, emigration, and alienation. How can this vibrant body of work be reconciled with the standard representations of a repressive, authoritarian cultural apparatus?