Monthly Archives: September 2010

A market in broad daylight

Two weeks ago, Cuban government officials announced plans to expand Cuba’s private sector by issuing more permits for private businesses and self-employment, and by laying off 500,000 state workers in 2011. To say that Cuba is expanding its private sector is somewhat inaccurate, because Cuba does not have a private sector in the same way that other nations do; if this plan takes shape the way it has been described, the Cuban government will effectively be sparking the development of a small, highly regulated, but nevertheless private sector. This is serious news.

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Cuban self-censorship

Elaine Díaz is an “independent” blogger in Cuba. As she put it, she is a blogger who has not declared a political position or agenda in her work, one who just wants to write, wants to express herself.

She has her own blog, La Polémica Digital [Digital Polemic] but also contributes to a group site, BloggersCuba, a sort of digital magazine with thirteen writers and photographers who write on politics, sports, and the arts. Elaine’s story, and the story of BloggersCuba, has not inspired the sensationalism that has followed Yoani Sánchez. But my conversation with her may have been one of the most enlightening exchanges I’ve ever had about Cuba.

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Filed under Blogs out of Cuba, Intellectual community

Marianela Boán on art worlds in Cuba and the US

During my recent break from work (and half-wired), I had a chance to interview Philadelphia-based Cuban choreographer Marianela Boán, who I got to know while working at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival a few years back. Marianela is one of Cuba’s foremost, internationally renowned contemporary choreographers working today, and she has brought a unique approach to performance to Philly’s dance and theater communities and to Temple University’s MFA program, where she is a faculty member. Take a look at my piece on Marianela’s latest work, Decadere, and on Cuban cultural policy, on the Live Arts Festival Blog.

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Filed under Art community, Intellectual community