What Do Cubans Think of Normalization With the United States

What Do Cubans Think of Normalization With the United States

Feb 9, 2016

Originally published by The Nation In late January, the Obama administration announced that it would remove a number of impediments to trade with Cuba by lifting restrictions on the American financing of exports, relaxing limits on shipping goods, and further loosening the constraints on travel. These and other measures have come in the wake of […]

The Repeating Barrio

The Repeating Barrio

Feb 1, 2016

Originally published by The Nation The urban slums have always been a source of vexation for the Cuban revolution. During the seventies, the revolution attempted to do away with the slum areas of the cities by providing housing, employment, and education to the poorest residents. The 1974 film De Cierta Manera (One Way or Another) […]

Domestic Workers at a Crossroads

Domestic Workers at a Crossroads

Aug 19, 2015

Originally published by Dissent magazine   By Sujatha Fernandes This August domestic workers and organizers are marking the fifth anniversary of the passage of the New York Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights. The bill, which was won by a coalition of groups in the city after a six-year campaign, was the first large victory for […]

Do Cubans Really Want US Style Internet Freedom?

Do Cubans Really Want US Style Internet Freedom?

Dec 21, 2014

      Originally published by NACLA.   By Sujatha Fernandes and Alexandra Halkin This past Wednesday, President Barack Obama made a historic announcement about the normalization of relations with Cuba. Although there had been rumors floating around the streets of Havana, most people on both sides of the Florida Straits were taken by surprise […]

Why USAID Could Never Spark a Hip Hop Revolution in Cuba

Why USAID Could Never Spark a Hip Hop Revolution in Cuba

Dec 16, 2014

Originally published by NACLA. Between 2006 and 2007, I received numerous visits from two State Department officials at my home in Harlem, New York. I had just written a book on Cuban cultural production, with a large section on rap. I was never home when they came, so they left messages with my neighbors, telling […]

Iggy Azalea and the Perils of Reinventing Oneself

Iggy Azalea and the Perils of Reinventing Oneself

Dec 12, 2014

Originally published by Huffington Post. Eight years ago a young white girl from the rural northern-Australian town of Mullumbimby moved to Miami. Only 16 years of age, she refashioned herself as a rapper by the name of Iggy Azalea with a black Southern accent and achieved notoriety when her sexually explicit songs went viral on […]

The Rhythms of Dissent – Language, Race and Rap in the Modern World

The Rhythms of Dissent – Language, Race and Rap in the Modern World

Nov 12, 2014

Originally published by The Common Reader. “I said a hip hop, the hippie the hippie to the hip hip hop and you don’t stop the rockin’ to the bang bang boogie say up jump the boogie to the rhythm of the boogie, the beat.” Wonder Mike of the Sugar Hill Gang recorded these lyrics to […]

Snapshot from the Economic War in Venezuela

Snapshot from the Economic War in Venezuela

Aug 28, 2014

Originally published by Venezuelanalysis.com. On July 18, two functionaries in the western state of Yaracuy received calls on their cell phones, supposedly from a government minister, asking them to go to a local hardware store that they had recently sanctioned for price gouging. They complied. It was a set up. When the two men, Johnny […]

Cultures of Documentary Filmmaking in Cuba

Mar 16, 2014

Originally published by LASA Forum. Ordinary citizens in Cuba faced tremendous difficulties after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the decades of the 1990s and 2000 ushered in a revitalization of the arts and creative responses to the crisis. Cuban music, literature, and visual arts are some of the more widely known and globally circulated cultural products of this period. Cultural forms […]

The rhythms of revolution: Hip hop goes global

The rhythms of revolution: Hip hop goes global

Feb 19, 2014

Originally published by Scroll.in. I first heard the rap song ‘The Message’ – credited to the legendary Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five – in the mid-1980s. I didn’t know why the song about an American ghetto struck a chord with me, a teenager growing up in a working-class beachside neighborhood of Sydney. Maybe it’s […]

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