Narrating Precariousness in Cuba Beyond Havana and the ICAIC: The Case of Televisión Serrana’s Ariagna Fajardo and ¿A dónde vamos?

  • Michelle Leigh Farrell
Part of the Global Cinema book series (GLOBALCINE)


Since the triumph of the Revolution, Cuban film has held an official role in constructing, reflecting, and criticizing the national project through the established state filmmaking institute: the ICAIC. Despite the assumed monopoly of the Havana-based ICAIC and the reduced vision of revolutionary Cuba, the film landscape has proven much more complex within and beyond the state. In order to explore those who have worked to negotiate a space in Cuba’s centralized film landscape, this chapter analyzes a rural documentary producer, Televisión Serrana, and one filmmaker in particular, Ariagna Fajardo. Far from the institutional hub of Havana, hovering between a local and national partnership, Televisión Serrana makes visible life from the Sierra Maestra while also serving as an educational platform to transfer the filmmaking process to the local community. Having grown up in the Televisión Serrana’s community educational program, and now as one its most awarded directors, Fajardo captures this mission in her film ¿A dónde vamos?, which explores the precarious farming realities that have caused many of her young peers to abandon rural life to live in an illegal limbo in urban centers. Her film has resulted in national attention to the issue of fair prices and food distribution for rural farmers. Beyond the content of the film however, Fajardo’s many works face a similar challenge in terms of distribution and exhibition as the ageing legal state-film mechanisms do not reflect the changing audiovisual landscape of contemporary Cuban film.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle Leigh Farrell
    • 1
  1. 1.Fairfield UniversityFairfield, CTUSA

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