What would Che say?: International Symposium of Cuban Studies

Posted by mjs76 at May 18, 2010 09:40 AM |
Including rare screening of 1980s Cuban comedy film.

On 1 January 1959, the rebel forces of Fidel Castro overthrew Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista and declared the island a republic. That was (just over) fifty years ago so, as a belated anniversary event, our School of Modern Languages is hosting a symposium of Cuban Studies on 1 June 2010.

The event is called Space and Nation in Poetry and Cinema and will feature actual poetry and cinema, as well as discussion thereof. New Yorker Mark Weiss will discuss the bilingual anthology of Cuban poetry which he edited last year; Dr Omar García-Obregón from University of London Queen Mary will talk on 'Space as Ontological Marker: Forging Identities and Nationalities' and Dr Guy Baron from Aberystwyth University will speak on postmodern Cuban cinema.

Dr Baron’s principal text will be the micro-budget 1988 comedy ¡Plaf! o Demasiado Miedo a la Vida (the title translates as Plaf! or Too Afraid of Life) and after lunch there is a rare chance to watch the movie which Variety called “the best Cuban film this decade”. Directed by Juan Carlos Tabio, Plaf! Stars Daisy Granados as a religious, middle-aged woman who is in love with a taxi driver and in conflict with her scientist daughter-in-law and, most of all, wants people to stop throwing eggs at her. The film spoofs the inadequacies of cheap, third-world cinema while also taking satirical potshots at modern Cuban life.

The symposium finishes off with a poetry reading. For more information, contact the School.