Cuba Represent! Rap Music and Racial Politics in Contemporary Cuba

February 2, 2007 - 4:00 pm

Rap music become a vehicle by which Afro-Cuban youth voice demands for racial equality, negotiate with the state and promote alternative strategies for survival in contemporary Cuba. Sujatha Fernandes and Ariel “Asho” Fernandez, the renowed Cuban hip-hop pioneer and entrepreneur, will explore the evolving relationship between rappers and the state and the growing importance of the hip-hop movement to Cuba’s culture and heritage.

Sujatha Fernandes is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Queens College, City University of New York. She is the author of Cuba Represent! Cuban Arts, State Power, and the Making of New Revolutionary Cultures (Duke University Press, October 2006).

Ariel “Asho” Fernandez is a DJ/Journalist/Concert Promoter, widely acknowledged to be one of the initiators of the Cuba’s hip-hop movement. Born in Havana, he was founder and former editor-in-chief of Movimiento, a Cuban magazine devoted to hip-hop culture.

Mauricio FontBildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies