Speaker: Victor Fowler, Cuban writer and Visiting Fellow, Afro-Latin American Research Institute, Harvard University
*Talk conducted in Spanish
Cuban writer Victor Fowler, a Visiting Fellow at the Afro-Latin American Research Institute in 2015-16, explored the contradictions of el paquete, the collection of media shared weekly across Cuba through an informal but highly efficient and wide-reaching network. Fowler examined its significance as a mode of cultural circulation and resistance, operating outside the state mechanism as part of an alternative commercial system.
Victor Fowler is one of the most important writers of his generation. Born in 1960 to an Afro-Cuban family, he belongs to the first generation of writers born in Revolutionary Cuba. This was the generation that was supposed to provide the nation with what Che Guevara called the “new man.” In reality, this expectation was not fulfilled—few adopted the morals of Revolutionary life out of disinterested altruism. In fact, most of the writers of Fowler’s generation have gone into exile. In contrast, Fowler has remained on the island, and has published 10 volumes of poetry and 5 of essays, in addition to a number of edited volumes and important collaborations. He has broken new ground in Cuban letters with extensive essays on the body, race and sexuality. His poetry, rich and allusive, gives us a window onto the complex realities of life in revolutionary Cuba.