Intervening, Correcting, Rewarding
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The small-scale urban gardens in Havana are contested spaces that are constantly monitored and controlled by the Cuban state, but they also offer possibilities for crafting a life. Marcelo, the gardener whose stories are shared in this book, felt the constant gaze of the Cuban state over his shoulder. However, he also stressed how Fidel Castro still plays an important role in his lived experiences even after his death. He senses the gaze of the state through a state-led competition that rewards ‘model gardens’ according to revolutionary values. However, we noticed that such initiatives also offer opportunities for resistance. Everyday gentle resistance. The ethnographic deep hanging out in these gardens captured the microscopic elements and crawling rhizomes that broaden our understanding of what it means to be human within a socially controlled environment, entangled with the presence of non-humans.
KeywordsSocial control Authoritarianism Competition Resistance Gardening state Agricultural governance Resilience
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