Exciting news this morning, that Shannon Lee Dawdy has been awarded a MacArthur Foundation Grant. As many of you know, Shannon is an archeologist and historical anthropologist whose work spans the Caribbean, focusing particularly on Louisiana and Cuba, and her publications include the pictured co-edited collection. Please join us in wholeheartedly congratulating Shannon on this remarkable accomplishment!
Update: here is a link with more information about Shannon’s award and current projects.
Today September 11 is Catalonia’s National Holiday, commemorating the fall of Barcelona in 1714. This is Catalonia’s pro-independence flag, the estelada, designed in 1904 and waved at the proclamation of the short-lived Catalan independence in 1931- today a flag still used by Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (with variations in color, it is also the flag of the independentist group Terra Lliure).
Its similarity with the Cuban flag is no coincidence. It was designed by Catalan nationalists in Cuba after its independence in 1902, and modeled, of course, after the Cuban flag See Creixell (1984) for a full account.
I thank Cesar Beltran for pointing at this morphological similarity.
This picture of a store advertising poster for (Cuban-made?) condoms is Gisela Roeder’s first contribution to EthnoCuba, and hopefully not the last. It was taken at a peso pharmacy in Caimito, a municipality in Havana Province (soon to be a municipality in the new Artemisa province), this past July, 2010.
Slogan translation: DESEA (presumably the brand name: Desire). “A Job Well Done. You Have the Instruments.”
Productos Controlados are those sold by the libreta. I wonder how many condoms per person could one buy (how many times the government considers the normal rate of sex intercourse per week). I suppose those who do not use them can still collect them and trade them for cigarettes or yogourt.
Recently, the international press carried an article about Cubans’ creative condom usage: Condoms are used for everything except for sex. Here’s a link to a Global Post article which includes interesting images.
Commercial advertisements of this sort in peso stores are extremely unusual, particularly because rather than just inform on the quality of the promoted product, it seeks to lure consumers to use it through innuendo and evocative images- a “no-no” in socialist advertising (See article in Harvard’s Revista on the topic). Although in this case the choice of imagery is strange, what’s up with those outfits??
In the the mid-1990s, the famous timba band La Charanga Habanera, also tried to promote this not-very-popular product, upon government request. The song “Mi Amor, Usa Condon” (which they mocked in their album cover by appearing themselves with condoms over their heads) was part of their “suspension concert” of 1997, in Havana’s Malecon. After this, they were banned from the media for half a year due to their allegedly lewd movements and disrespectful words.