Sunday, November 22nd – 2 pm
Author event – Cuba!
To Defend the Revolution
is to Defend Culture

Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt

Courtyard at Ricardo Porro’s School of Modern Dance.   Photo © Hazel Hankin –

To Defend the Revolution Is to Defend Culture revisits the circumstances which led to the arts being embraced at the heart of the Cuban Revolution. Introducing the main protagonists to the debate, this previously untold story follows the polemical twists and turns that ensued in the volatile atmosphere of the 1960s and ’70s. The picture that emerges is of a struggle for dominance between Soviet-derived approaches and a uniquely Cuban response to the arts under socialism. The latter tendency, which eventually won out, was based on the principles of Marxist humanism. As such, this book foregrounds emancipatory understandings of culture.

Author Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt will present her work and engage in discussion with the audience.  Rebecca began her journey to Cuba in 2008, in search of new ways of thinking about culture. The following year, she spent five months gathering material in the libraries and archives of Havana. Entering the final editing stages of To Defend the Revolution Is to Defend Culture, she set up the Centre for Cultural Change (, an umbrella organisation that enables critical and creative researchers to explore alternatives to the current socio-cultural malaise.
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