Cultural Workers in 'Late Socialism': The Case of Visual Artists in Contemporary Cuba
The production of culture in general and art in particular occupies a unique position in the analysis of capitalist and socialist production processes. Cuba continues to enjoy a very lively and creative art scene despite constant supply problems of materials since the “special period in times of peace” resulting from the collapse of the Soviet Union. This analysis pursues the question to what extent Cuban artists’ production process, product, and position is changing in the context of capitalist influences on the “late socialist” economy, such as increased tourism, foreign currency, and self-employment. Global Exchange’s Cuban Arts Encounter Tour in March 2003 gave me unique access to artists by allowing me to visit their homes and to formally and informally interview them. I apply insights from the sociology of art and work about the process of art production and consumption to describe the producers and product of Cuban visual art since 1989.
Keywords: Cuban Art, Cuban Artists, Socialist Art
Dr. Marina A. Adler
Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Maryland Baltimore County