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“Transnational Pilgrim,” José Bedia exhibit at the Fowler, UCLA

art, Calendar, Images No Comments »

Although we do not typically focus on the fine arts in the strict sense of the term, for those interested in–or struck by–boundary-crossing cultural productions, the work of Cuban and Cuban-American artists such as José Bedia may well be particularly compelling, and if you happen to be in the Los Angeles area this fall, this is an exhibition to investigate.  Opening Sept. 17th at the Fowler Museum with a conversation between Bedia and curators Judith Bettelheim and Janet Catherine Berlo, the exhibition will be on display from Sept. 18 through Jan. 8, 2012.  Here are two examples of Bedia’s work, courtesy of the Fowler Museum.  Above:  Pájaro que busca otro horizonte (The Bird Who Seeks Another Land), 1998, Acrylic on canvas, 231 x 414 cm, Berezdivin Collection, San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Below: Piango piango llega lejos (Step by Step You Can Go Far), 2000, Acrylic stain and oil pastel on canvas, Diam.: 245.4 cm, Collection of the Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ackland Fund, Photograph courtesy of Galeria Ramis Barquet, New York:

Kristina Wirtz, talk at the University of Chicago (11/8/10)

Anthropological institutions, By Paul Ryer, Calendar, Seminars & talks 1 Comment »

Kristina S. Wirtz, on “From Blackface to Voice of the Spirits: A ‘Brutology’ of Bozal

Monday, November 8, 2010,   3:30 pm University of Chicago,  Haskell 315

It was a great pleasure, and one more sign that anthropological scholarship on Cuba continues to prosper, to receive notice of the forthcoming talk by linguistic anthropologist Kristina Wirtz, author of Ritual, Discourse, and Community in Cuban Santería, and associate professor at Western Michigan U., at the mythical Monday Seminar of the University of Chicago Department of Anthropology.  As part of the anthropological community with sustained interest in Cuban research (among faculty, principally Stephan Palmié and Shannon Dawdy, as well as M.R. Trouillot, Marshall Sahlins, John Kelly and others, and, among  numerous Ph.D. students & graduates, ourselves, EthnoCuba’s editors), we are sorry to miss what will certainly be an outstanding talk and conversation!

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Thomas Carter speaking at UC Riverside Tues, Nov. 2

By Paul Ryer, Calendar, Globalization, greater Cuba, Seminars & talks, Sport 2 Comments »

To Follow the Bouncing Ball – Transnational Ethnography and the Experiences of Cuban Transnational Sport Migration. Dr. Thomas F. Carter, Senior Lecturer University of Brighton.

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010. 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Department of Anthropology, University of California at Riverside. INTS 1113

Thomas Carter is Senior Lecturer in anthropology at the Chelsea School at the University of Brighton in Eastbourne, United Kingdom.  He was previously a Research Fellow in the School of Anthropological Studies at Queen’s University of Belfast.  He has written extensively on Cuba, sport and politics, including his ethnography, The Quality of Home Runs: The Passion, Politics and Language of Cuban Baseball (Duke University Press 2008) on the historical and current discourses of cubanidad embodied in the national sport of baseball.  His forthcoming book, In Foreign Fields, uses the politics and experiences of sport-related transnational labor migration to both critique globalization-based models explaining the movements of sport-related labor and call for greater anthropological attention to sport (Pluto 2011).

UPDATE: Cuban Theater in the 1960s. A conference review.

By M.E.Diaz, Calendar, Conferences & CFPs, Reviews No Comments »

Lillian Manzor, professor at University of Miami and expert on Cuban theater, has organized a conference on Cuban theater in the 1960s that gathers some of the main playwrights and theater personalities of the period.

It will take place on Saturday, March 27th, at the University of Miami Otto Richter Library

The conference includes the presence of personalities such as Eduardo Arrocha, Anton Arrufat, Abelardo Estorino, Eduardo Manet, Matias Montes Ruidobro, Rafael Mirabal, and Jesus Ruiz -all of whom have been granted visas to enter the United States.

For more information, click on the poster to enlarge it. The program website, which includes the complete program and instructions to watch the conference live on video, is HERE.

(The awesome poster is a design of Anna Veltford, known as Connie, of El Archivo)

Prof. Maria Elena Diaz (UC-Santa Cruz) attended the conference and provided the following review:

The U Miami’s conference “Protagonitsts of the 60s: Caminos, esplendor y obstaculos del teatro cubano” organized by Lillian Manzor, was a well attended yet intimate event.  There,  protagonic figures of that decade collated memories of that golden period of theatre in Havana and the creative energy that drove it until the “quinquenio gris.”

The morning section was dedicated to the material culture of theatre–design and costumes. It displayed the work of key designers (some of them still working in Cuba) through surviving drafts and photographs of that work. A highlight of that panel was the memorable staging of  Lope de Vega’s <Fuenteovejuna> based on the striking artistic vision of Rafael Mirabal (Miami) who sought to recreate in his design the work’s central theme of “power.” All agreed that the work had had a tremendous impact in the theatre scene of the time.  Perhaps someone will venture to re-stage along the same lines it in some future festival, it would definitely still play out as a tremendously innovative staging of that classic, aside from the evocations to the 60s staging it could produce. I would have loved to have seen it–or see it.

In the afternoon session, the highlights were Anton Arrufat who gave a moving account of his personal experience in internal exile in the Biblioteca de Marianao during 14 years before being rehabilitated,  Matias Huidobro (writer and scholar) who gave a good panoramic view of the scene during the period weaving in his own experience;  and Eduardo Manet who connected via the internet from Rabat, of all places, where he was representing French writers at a Congress.  Manet’s improvised talk was for the most part a bubbling and optimistic  intervention that mostly focused on the present and the future. His words about the creative role of writers and artists in what he saw as a demoralizing  French cultural scene energized some of the writers and artists in the room.

There were the always moving encounters of friends and colleagues who had not seen each other in decades. Above all, the conference unfolded in a collegial and respectful manner among Cuban writers and artists who, despite their political and artistic trajectories, once shared the energy of being part of perhaps the richest theatre scene in the island’s history. Overall a wonderful conference full of discoveries.

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