Hello everyone! Help me get to Cuba for Spring of 2017!

Graciela Rodriguez C Start Date: Oct 19, 2016 - End Date: Feb 5, 2017
  • Cultural Exchange
  • Educational/Research Trip
  • Study/Degree Abroad
  • Havana, Cuba

My Travel Story

by: Graciela Rodriguez C Start Date: Oct 19, 2016 - End Date: Feb 5, 2017
  • Cultural Exchange
  • Educational/Research Trip
  • Study/Degree Abroad
In Cuba I hope to gain a better understanding of national identity in conversation with traditional Cuban culture. My goal is to partake in an ethnographic study through photography and video archives composed of two parts; part 1: Exploring the complexities of the Cuban Haitian identity in order to understand how the Haitian Diaspora developes/maintain culture abroad and part 2: experience the Cuban community through they individual perspectives. I am curious about day to day cuban life, and what a cuban identifies as Cuban Culture. 

My end goal is gather my findings and create a piece of art that can contribute to my identity as a Caribbean, as a black body and as a Dominican women in the United States of America while also simultaneously participating in a space where Cubans can ask themselves the same questions I had in order for them to understand the complexities of Culture within the Diaspora communities through their anecdotes,art and understanding of their culture.  

How does Cuban identity play a role in my Dominican Identity and why is the Cuban Haitian identity such an important part of what makes Cuba’s national history relevant if it is even a part of the story at all?
  • Havana, Cuba


  • Revised Proposal For Study Abroad !

    Artistic expression and representation is a critical part of my identity as an immigrant woman in the United States. My art gives me a voice, through my academic career I’ve been provided with multiple opportunities to grow and evolve as a young adult in a changing world. I have been provided with spaces to express myself and heal through my art. I have reaped the benefits of artistic freedom and am thankful for the tools that have been provided along the way. In Cuba I am interested in exploring the narratives of Cuban artists who see their art as activism. Using ethnographic film methods like participatory observation and interview practices I will gather information from domestic spaces and daily life activities that Cuban artists engage in. I am interested in exploring the complexities of identity and artistic expression by documenting artists’ art practice as it is embedded in their daily lives.

    I will ask question such as: What motivates you? How did you start doing your art? What do you hope to achieve with your art? What obstacles and supports have you encountered through your artistic trajectory? What does your family think of your artwork? I am interested in multiple art forms such as film advocacy non-fiction work as well street art, music and everything in between. My hope is that this study will encourage conversations about the diversity in artistic narratives within Cuba and its strengths and weaknesses in supporting artists’ creative process. I want to explore the intersections between the personal and the political in contemporary Cuban culture and consider how history is unfolding at the moment by examining artistic production as a reflection of our social world.
    The ethnographic video work will primarily consist of visual and audio interviews with local artist/community members sharing their thoughts or feelings on their lives in Cuba, or answering specific questions, but this material will be gathered as they go about their daily lives and artistic practice. The idea is not to create artificial settings, but rather to use the camera to trace everyday spaces, encounters, and practices. Hopefully through stories and anecdotes along with my day-to-day observations I will experience the Cuban community through multiple individual perspectives. My final goal is to gather my findings and create an ethnographic portrait of a group of Cuban artists who are inserted in this particular historical moment.

  • Working Project Thesis Questions?

    -How does Cuban identity play a role in my Dominican/Black Caribbean Identity?
    -What is your identity? How do you begin to think about your identity?
    -What does it mean to be a Cuban?
    -How significant is your cultural identity to your overall self identity?
    -How did you draw that conclusion?
    -What are your goals?
    -Do your identity contribute to your life goals?
    -What is something you want the world to know about your Cuba, the Cuba you experienced?