by Bette Benson (LACIS Social Media/Outreach Intern, BA, LACIS, Pol Sci, & Intl Stud ’15)
LACIS Core Professor, Guillermina De Ferrari, published a new book, Community and Culture in Post-Soviet Cuba!
From the publisher:
“Following the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the globalization of Cuban culture, along with the bankruptcy of the state, partly modified the terms of intellectual engagement. However, no significant change took place at the political level. In Community and Culture in Post-Soviet Cuba, De Ferrari looks into the extraordinary survival of the Revolution by focusing on the personal, political and aesthetic social pacts that determined the configuration of the socialist state.
Through close critical readings of a representative set of contemporary Cuban novels and works of visual art, this book argues that ethics and gender, rather than ideology, account for the intellectuals’ fidelity to the Revolution. Community and Culture does three things: it demonstrates that masculine sociality is the key to understanding the longevity of Cuba’s socialist regime; it examines the sociology of cultural administration of intellectual labor in Cuba; and it maps the emergent ethical and aesthetic paradigms that allow Cuban intellectuals to envision alternative forms of community and civil society.”
In addition to this accomplishment, Guillermina is now the Dirctor for Visual Cultures and is curating the exhibit: “Aperture: Photography in Cuba Today” which opens at the Chazen March 6th!
“Apertura: Photography in Cuba Today” explores the way photography is used, understood, and experienced in Cuba in times of transition. It includes photography-based installations, digital photomontage and “intervened photography” by eight contemporary Cuban artists. The premise of the exhibition is to explore how photography and photographic practice have changed on the island over the last two decades and how it creates meaning in light of the technological, philosophical and aesthetic changes of the last decades. In contrast with the highly stylized documentation of the young Revolution, the new Cuban photography aims to shape reality by creating a syntax of expressive artifacts, one in which the printed image becomes one element in a complex discursive practice. New Cuban photography-based art creates an imaginary space of aesthetic openness—apertura in Spanish—against or in play with what is perceived to be an artificially stagnant political reality.”
Opening Celebration March 5
5:30–6:30 p.m. Lecture: “No More Boundaries for Cuban Photography” by Nelson Ramírez de Arellano Conde, participating artist and director of the National Photography Museum in Havana. Chazen Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public. Funding provided by the UW-Madison Anonymous Fund and by the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program with support from the US Department of Education’s Title VI Grant Program.
6:30–8 p.m. Preview reception: Apertura: Photography in Cuba Today. Live music, refreshments, and cash bar. Mead Witter Lobby. Reception hosted by the UW-Madison Center for the Humanities.
Congratulations on your successes, Guillermina!