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Cuba's Cinematic Elan Vital: Cubanidad and Cubania as Citizenship and Sentiment

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Dunja Fehimovic


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This article focuses on the current shifts in expressions of Cuban national identity by considering the articulations of cubanidad and cubanía in recent documentary films from Cuba's Muestra joven. Rather than suggesting a disappearance or deterioration of national identity, these three examples of contemporary Cuban cinema evidence a more fluid, sentiment-based articulation of Cubanness that can be considered the island's élan vital. This analysis of representations of the ongoing transformation of Cuba deploys theories and terms conceptualised by Georg Sorenson in The Transformation of the State: Beyond the Myth of Retreat(2004) in order to posit how cubanidad is aligned with the modes of citizenship (the official), which is a sense of Cubanness defined by a rationality that may be imposed, while cubanía is affined with a sentiment fuelled by intuition (the personal). Thus we propose that just as theMuestra joven embodies the current vacillation and movement of Cuban cinema between citizenship and sentiment, so deMoler (Muestra 2004), Model Town (Muestra 2007) and La Época, el Encanto y Fin de Siglo (Muestra 2000) indicate a process of reinterpretation and rupture in a context of flux instead of rigidity.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Fehimovic D, Stone R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies

Year: 2014

Volume: 23

Issue: 3

Pages: 298-303

Print publication date: 01/08/2014

Online publication date: 19/06/2014

Acceptance date: 07/05/2014

ISSN (print): 1356-9325

ISSN (electronic): 1469-9575

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


DOI: 10.1080/13569325.2014.922939


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