Image: Posters on a wall on 6 de diciembre, Quito, Ecuador
Photo: Michèle Favarger
I am an adventurous person. I love to try new things, visit new places, taste new foods, and explore new cultures. My husband calls me Adventure Girl and refers to himself as Reluctant Boy. However, technology is something else entirely. I experience anxiety when confronted with new technology. Even creating this WordPress blog fills me with dread.
Having said this, I am still willing to embrace this challenge to fulfill a requirement for coursework. I have found resources to help me overcome my fear. Kudos to Lynda.com! Knowledge is power.
I am traveling to Cuba for anthropological field studies in culture and visual anthropology. I leave tomorrow. I am taking advantage of this trip to get additional credit for a self-directed experiential course in Latin American studies, and the subject I have chosen is Cuban Street Art. These are my first courses in anthropology and my first self-directed project. This blog will fulfill a part of the criteria for this course. Gracias a la Dr. Beatriz de Alba-Koch, por tener fe en mi y en este proyecto.
To be honest, when I originally conceived this idea, I had only murals in mind; brightly-coloured and evocative, real statements of opinion frequently politically motivated. Since beginning my research however, I have come to realize that Street Art encompasses so much more: sculpture, performance, and poetry in addition to simple black-and-white depictions on pavement or the crumbling side of a building, and to be truthful, I have no idea where this subject will lead. I am just going to remain open to the possibilities as they unfold.
I have had the privilege to have traveled fairly widely. My most recent adventures have been to Latin America, specifically Mexico and Ecuador. I may share some of the examples from those countries in future blog posts as counter-point to what I see in Cuba. My expectation of art is that it expresses either celebration or criticism. I am curious to see how artistic expression unfolds in modern-day Cuba, a country which supports their artists as long as the artists support the revolution.
“All criticism is opposition. All opposition is counter-revolutionary.”
Advance warning: some of this blog is likely to be in Spanish. Additionally, as internet access in Cuba is spotty at best, I don’t anticipate posting anything until I get back. I look forward to sharing my findings with you through this blog. Come along with me and let’s see where this adventure takes us.