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Title: To defend the Revolution is to defend culture : the cultural policy of the 1959 Cuban Revolution
Author: Gordon-Nesbitt, Rebecca
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 8485
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2012
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This study examines the centrality of culture to the 1959 Cuban Revolution, which led to a creative vocation being supported by the revolutionary government, with artists, architects, writers and fi lmmakers being welcomed back from exile and their work redefi ned as part of the production that would be essential to transforming society. Tracing the formal evolution of policy by the Consejo Nacional de Cultura (CNC), from 1961 onwards, this research outlines the priorities that led tens of thousands of art teachers to train at special schools and disseminate their newly learnt creative skills to a large proportion of the population. It also follows the dark shadow of socialist realism that threatened to impose itself upon aesthetic discussions. In the process, it exposes the sectarianism that was perpetuated by certain defi ned factions, congealing into a stifl ing dogmatism that was only overcome when the CNC was disbanded in favour of a Ministry of Culture in 1976. At the same time, departing from popular top-down conceptions of Cuban policy-formation, this account prioritises the contribution of artists and writers to emerging ideas. In examining congresses and confl uences from the 1950s onwards, it establishes the close involvement of the country’s creative intellectuals in the defi ning the parameters that would infl uence their praxis. The specifi c role that was adopted by, and advocated for, creative producers, is also examined, from the consolidation of national culture to a critique of the same. Overall, this thesis is framed as a counterpoint to the cultural policy that has been developed under neoliberalism, giving primacy to emancipatory understandings of cultural appreciation and participation. In isolating the main tenets of Marxist-humanist cultural policy, as evinced in postrevolutionary Cuba, this forms the basis of a consideration of the value of art in terms that go beyond those of the marketplace.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available