Ann Marie Stock

 

On her book On Location in Cuba: Street Filmmaking during Times of Transition

Cover Interview of July 06, 2009

In a nutshell

Cuba has undergone dramatic changes during the past two decades.  As global tides washed over the island in the early 1990s, Cubans did their best to remain anchored.  How did they respond to the break-up of the Soviet Union — their nation’s abrupt loss of a major trading partner and symbolic model?  And how have they faced one of the greatest challenges posed by globalization — preserving their sense of home and community while engaging with an increasingly connected world?

On Location in Cuba probes these questions.  The lens of cinema—defined broadly to include film, video and audiovisual art—permits an analysis of this pivotal moment in the island’s history, this “special period” of accelerated change and great uncertainty.

In the United States, we tend to think that Cuba is on the brink of change.  But, in fact, the island has already instigated and assimilated remarkable shifts—the legalization of U.S. currency, the development of tourist infrastructure, the encouragement of entrepreneurial activities and small businesses, and even the Pope’s celebration of Catholic mass in Revolution Square.  It’s crucial to acknowledge and examine recent transformations if we are to effectively engage with Cubans in the near future.