Cuba: Then and Now
A Workshop for Educators
Saturday, March 5, 2016
9:00 am-4:30 pm
FedEx Global Education Center, Room 4003
WRAL Goes Inside Cuba: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/travel/video/14975339/
Presentation: The Cuban-American Community & the New U.S.-Cuba Relations by Jorge Duany, Cuban Research Institute, FIU
Presenter: Miguel Rojas-Sotelo
The Havana Biennale is one of a group of cultural mega-events that has projected Cuba’s interest in being at the center of world affairs since the installment of the Ministry of Culture in 1976. The Biennale has explored the debates taking place around the issue of alternative cosmopolitan modernisms (Latin America, Africa, and Asia, with particular attention to the role of Cuban art within that configuration) and answers the question of whether these debates and practices have contributed to a redefinition of the network of “global art” today.
This presentation addresses the methodological approach of the Havana Biennale towards the larger picture of “global art,” its interactions with the art world, and its discussions on artistic and cultural subjectivity. More broadly, it seeks to promote and make visible what is (was) called Third World Art that is now labeled Art of the Global South. Most art biennials respond to the national or local questions as it relates to their specific international and global interests. They try to position local production and to promote local and regional (as well as international) cultural markets. The official, political, and economic dimensions of these events are unquestionable, and must be acknowledged.[i]
[i] As Stuart Cunningham suggests, “many people trained in cultural studies would see their primary role as being critical of the dominant political, economic and social order. When cultural theorists do turn to questions of policy, our command metaphors of resistance and opposition predispose us to view the policy making process as inevitably compromised, incomplete and inadequate.” Cunningham finishes the argument stating, “These people are then called to the bar of an abstrusely formulated critical idealism.” I hope to have a different fate. Stuart Cunningham, Framing Culture: criticisms and policy in Australia (Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1992). p. 9.
Sotelo worked as visual arts director of the Ministry of Culture of Colombia (1995-2001), building cultural policy for the visual arts in his country, and independently as artist, curator, and critic ever since. His areas of interest are: decolonial aesthetics, intercultural visualities, subaltern studies, the global south, contemporary visual circuits, culture and power, Latin American visual production, cultural politics and subjectivity, performance and film studies. He currently works and teaches at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Duke University where he is the Special Events Coordinator and the Director of the NC Latin American Film and New Media Festival.
Holly is the author of The Cuban Balseros: Voyage of Uncertainty which established the foundational demography and history of the 1994 Cuban raft crisis. She has also published on various topics related to the Cuban diaspora and Caribbean migration. Her work has appeared in the journals Cuban Studies; Encuentro de la cultura cubana; and Latino Studies. She is a contributing editor and author in the recently published collection of essays Cuba. Detroit: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2011.