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Tales from “the field.” Going to the Gym in Santiago de Cuba

By Ariana Hernandez-Reguant, By Grete Viddal, Tales from the field Add comments

With this post we inaugurate a new section in EthnoCuba, devoted to notes, pics and reports from that place we pompously call “the field”. I wanted to translate it into Spanish, but it sounds a  bit insulting if we are not talking about “el campo – campo” or “el puro campo”. Anything less than that should not be called “el campo”.  For now, we’ll leave it in English.

This post also -and hopefully- inaugurates the periodical contribution to this young blog of our colleague Grete Viddal, PhD candidate at Harvard University’s Department of African and African-American Studies (MA in anthropology), currently in Santiago.

Grete just joined a private gym, popular with the well-to-do local population. She reports that the gym is reasonably priced, (by Cuban standards), although “not cheap-cheap:” While a drop-in class there costs 5 pesos, it costs only 1 at the two state-run gyms located downtown. However the latter are not so well furnished.  This private gym also offers a monthly membership, which gives daily access to the weight machines (all hand made) as well as to aerobic classes.

I nagged Grete to get some pictures to share with us. See images below  (all pictures by Grete Viddal).


By contrast, check out the image of laziness that a 1968 pamphlet printed in Santiago de Cuba, called El Anti-Lumpen, offered of its inhabitants. Today, in El Archivo de Connie.

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