Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali

Monday, July 07, 2003  

“The Cuban economy, now incapable of selling sugar, tobacco or coffee at any reasonable price, now sells the nostalgia of the revolution, mixed into a cocktail of insulting clichés about sensuality and island ‘pleasures’. It is seen in all the morbid, anthropological clap-trap about Cuba being ‘a different community’ that resists the horrors of the consumption society. Cuba has become a mono-exporting backwater of tourist symbols that appeal to a certain sector of the western public… In their trips to Havana, travellers of that ilk seek, as Levi-Strauss says, to expiate the guilt they feel as ‘creatures of the consumption society’. The thing is they expiate their western guilt by compulsively devouring myths and nostalgia of a revolution that has burnt itself out.”

- Owen Thompson, from an excellent essay entitled “Out of the labyrinth?” in this month’s Trinidad & Tobago Review, out today (and not available online).

posted by Jonathan | 1:02 PM 0 comments


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