To Defend the Revolution Is to Defend Culture: The Cultural Policy of the Cuban Revolution
Based on a four-year research project, which included five months in Havana, this book documents the approaches to culture that evolved out of the 1959 Cuban Revolution. Deploying micro and macro perspectives, it introduces all the main protagonists to the debate and follows the polemical twists and turns that ensued in the volatile atmosphere of the 1960s and 1970s. The picture that emerges is of a struggle for cultural dominance between Soviet-derived approaches and a uniquely Cuban response to culture under socialism, based on the principles of Marxist humanism. Accordingly, this book aims to isolate the main tenets of Cuban cultural policy as they crystallized through an extensive process of trial and error. Primacy is given to emancipatory understandings of culture, and ample space is dedicated to discussions that remain hugely pertinent to those working in the cultural field, such as the relationship between art and ideology, engagement and autonomy, form and content.
Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt is a writer and researcher dedicated to exploring the politico-economic conditions underwriting artistic practice. Her work has been extensively published in anthologies, monographs, catalogues and journals. She cofounded salon3, a multidisciplinary arts organization in London and was a curator at the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art in Helsinki. Jorge Fornet has been director of the Centre for Literary Research at Casa de las Américas, where he also codirects the eponymous journal. He is the author of El 71. Anatomía de una crisis and has written widely on Latin American literature.