On December 9, 2005 the haudenschildGarage presented a Garage Talk and film screening of Tropicola by Steve Fagin in conjunction with UCSD conference The Special Period: Cuban Culture in the 1990s organized by Ariana Hernandez-Reguant. It brought together scholars, artists and journalists trying to work through the particular problems and efforts to resolve Cuban cultural life in the period directly following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Special Period. The conference culminated in a book, Cuba in the Special Period: Culture and Ideology in the 1990s (New Concepts in Latino American Cultures) 2009, edited by Hernandez-Reguant.
FRIDAY, DEC. 9
6:00 pm: OPENING AT THE haudenschildGarage
6:30 pm: FILM SCREENING OF STEVE FAGIN'S FILM "TROPICOLA"
Q&A SESSION WITH STEVE FAGIN
SATURDAY, DEC. 10
9:00-11:45. PANEL 1: COMMODITY CULTURE
Esther Whitfield (Comparative Literature, Brown University). Truths and Fictions. The Economics of Writing, 1994-1999
Cristina Venegas (Film Studies, UC-Santa Barbara). Filmmaking with Extranjeros
Ariana Hernandez-Reguant (Communication, UCSD). Revolutionary Dissonances: On Radio Taino.
Ivor Miller (Africana Studies, Columbia College). Abakuá Rhythms for Sale..
Kevin Delgado (Music, SDSU). Santeria as Spiritual Capital.
Discussant: Dick Hebdige (Film Studies, UC-Santa Barbara)
12:45-3:30. PANEL 2: CITIZENSHIP AND SUBJECTIVITY
Laurie Frederik (Anthropology, U Chicago). La Batalla for Cuban Identity: Option Zero Theater.
Lillian Manzor (Literature, U. Miami). Theater in Two Shores.
Marc D. Perry (Anthropology and African American Studies, U Illinois). Hip Hop and the Making of New Black Critical Difference
Lisa Maya Knauer (American Studies, U Mass, Darmouth). HAV/NY: Rumba, translocality and publics
Denise Blum (Education, CSU-Fresno). Schooling Cuban Pioneers in the ideals of Che: New meanings.
Discussant: Emilio Bejel (Spanish, UC-Davis)
3:45-5:30. PANEL 3: ALL THAT DANCE! TWO VIDEO PRESENTATIONS.
Berta Jottar (Latino Studies, Williams Col). Rumbeando with the Iremes. Central Park Rumba.
Jennifer Paz (QBA Media). I am Cuban, I am Popular The Musical Politics of David Calzado and the Charanga Habanera.
SUNDAY, DEC. 11
8:30-11:00. PANEL 4. CONTEXTS OF EXPRESSION
Antonio Eligio Fernandez “Tonel” (Spanish, U Texas, Austin). Dialogues on Pedro Alvarez
Ernesto Menéndez (Romance Languages, Duke U). Cold stridency: Kitsch appropriations in Cuban art of the 1990s.
Jacqueline Loss (Comparative Literature, U Connecticut). Wandering in Russian
Ana Maria Dopico (Comparative Literature, NYU). Dentro de la Fotografia, Todo: Politics and the Imaginary of Photography in the Special Period.
Discussant: Betti-Sue Hertz (SD Museum of Art)
11:00-12:15. ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION AND CLOSING REMARKS Can We Speak of a Late Socialism a la Cubana?
Tropicola is a feature length film shot in Havana at the height of the Special Period,1996-97. A provocative glimpse of life in contemporary Cuba, this playful movie with an excellent TIMBA soundtrack captures the color and rhythm of this vibrant nation while intelligently examining the problems facing Cuba during its current economic restructuring. From young Cuban women running off with tourists, to black market moneymaking schemes, Tropicola stresses the spirit, humor, tenacity and resourcefulness of the Cuban people as they bravely face their changing reality. The piece combines fictional, documentary and performance-based strategies to give a complex and percussive feel for Havana at a very "special" moment in time.
About the Participants
Steve Fagin http://visarts.ucsd.edu/faculty/steve-fagin
Ariana Hernandez-Reguant http://ucsd.academia.edu/ArianaHernandezReguant