“This garden is who I am”

by Ola Plonska This month the Master thesis ‘This Garden is who I am’ has been awarded as the best thesis written on Latin-America and the Caribbean in 2016/2017 by NALACS (the Netherlands Association for Latin American and Caribbean Studies).  ‘These gardens are spaces that reflect more about the world then generated them, then one would first assume or the eye can tell.’  My inspiration for doing fieldwork in Cuba started a long, long time ago. Being an inspiration to me, in many aspects, my father would tell me stories about how he traveled to Cuba when he was younger …

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Cuban imaginations of the future

Door Caroline van Slobbe    Havana is full of small businesses. The most common entrepreneurs are ladies who sell cupcakes and cookies from their front door or window, small cafeterias with coffee and a sandwich for some pesos, people selling the latest American movies and series on copied DVDs, and men walking with carts and shouting in a special loud and low tone that many of them use: “Tengo galletas de mantequillaaaaaaaaaa” (I have butter cookies). When there are eggs and/or potatoes – products that are scarce – that is shouted loudly: “Hay papa, hay huevo, hay papa, hay huevo” …

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Yoga in Cuba: Trojan horse or subtle trick?

By one of our former MA-students   Post 1959, Cuban people have been muted about the harshness of their daily life conditions and incited to praise the revolution achievements of Fidel Castro’s regime. In anthropological terms, we would say that their agency was constrained: freedom of thought, of speech and association were restricted to the extent that people traded their own critical sense and capacity for revolt for a collective revolutionary mentality that was aimed at providing them with a better future. Nevertheless, in the face of the 1990 economic crisis, the Cuban people’s awareness has begun to crack: as a …

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