The Mulata Affect: Bioremediation in the Cuban Arts

  • Author / Creator
    Stephen A. Cruikshank
  • The "mulata affect" may be understood as the repetitive process and movement of power and affect qualified in the mulata image over time. Through a lens of affect theory this study seeks to analyse how the mulata image in Cuba has historically been affected by, and likewise affected, cultural expressions and artistic representations. Relying on a theory of "bioremediation" this study proposes that the racialized body of the mulata, which is remediated through artistic images, consistently holds the potential to affect both national and exotic interpretations of her body and of Cuban culture. Four different artistic expressions of the mulata image are discussed. Beginning in the early twentieth century various artistic mediums are explored in the contexts of the mulata in the paintings of Carlos Enríquez's and the rumbera [rumba dancer] in the graphic illustrations of Conrado Massaguer. In addition, images of the miliciana [the militant woman] in the photography of Alberto Korda following the onset of Cuban Revolution and the jinetera [the sex-worker] in Daniel Díaz Torres film La película de Ana (2012) are discussed. Through an analysis of these four different expressions of the mulata body, this study seeks to expose a genealogy of the mulata image in art and, in doing so, reveal the ongoing visual changes and affective workings of the racialized female body that has contributed to the designations of Cuban culture and identity over time.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2018
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
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