LatinaLista — What is the state of Cuban cinema? How does the world see Cuban cinema? How do Cubans see their own film industry?
These were three questions that served as the premise for a 2012 academic gathering between participants of a binational program. The UK-Latin America Link Scheme, funded by the British Academy, awards grants to support a series of seminars involving UK and Latin American and Caribbean scholars on a topic of mutual interest within the humanities and social sciences.
In this instance, the topic of mutual interest was Cuban cinema. With the theme, ‘Contemporary Cuban Cinema: New Spaces, New Histories,’ the project aims to achieve a greater understanding of the link between Cuban film and society post-1990.
Many studies have been conducted that develop the understanding of Cuban film and society before 1990. These studies develop the link between the development of a revolutionary consciousness across Cuban arts and the attempt to deliver expressions of that consciousness through the medium of film. However, post-1990, when Cuba suffered the worst crisis in its revolutionary history due to the collapse of European communism, many points of ideological reference shifted and therefore new expressions of that shift were developed in Cuban cinema in order to come to terms with the enormous economic and social changes that took place. It is the purpose of this investigation to examine the expressions of these changes to determine to what extent the state integrates such filmic expressions into the official ideology in a continuously evolving process.
The seminars will enable scholars from the UK, the USA and Cuba to bring together their ideas on contemporary Cuban film and its link with Cuban society in order to develop a more complete understanding, not only of Contemporary Cuban cinema per se but also of how Cuban society develops its cultural output at times of severe crisis.
The featured video documents the first meeting between scholars from the UK and Cuba discussing their views on Cuban cinema.