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Publication Date



UM campus only

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Latin American Studies (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Lillian Manzor

Second Committee Member

George Yúdice

Third Committee Member

Steve Stein


This study examines the photographic production of the 1970s in Cuba through print media and aims to situate its role and function within the cultural politics that dominated this decade. The photographic image played a distinctly prominent role in the construct of a euphoric narrative that defined the early Revolutionary period. However, at the onset of the 1970s, the social, political and cultural life of the country was marked by a centralization and institutionalization of power that challenged the autonomy of artists and intellectuals. The medium of photography functioned almost exclusively as an instrument for journalism, removed from its artistic potential. The research focused on the work of a generation of photographers that emerged during two distinct moments in two major publications ? Cuba Internacional in the early 1970s and Revolución y Cultura in the second half of the decade. The study shows that the photographic production of this group of photographers was imbued with a personal aesthetic vision that belied the contemporaneous political status quo and as such reflected shifting ideological attitudes. The research also examines the socio-political factors that led these publications to represent sites of relative creative freedom and artistic innovation. It demonstrates how the function of photography shifted from strictly documentary to an artistic manifestation. The research predicted and found that photography played an influential role in the art making processes that generated aesthetic ruptures in the 1980s.


Cuban Photography; Cuba 1970s; Cuban Photography And Cultural Politics