Revolutionary Havana

Rom: Olav H. Hauge

Arrangør: Research Group for Radical Philosophy and Literature in collaboration with the House of Literature in Bergen


Cuba’s capital Havana was founded in 1519, and thus celebrates its 500th anniversary in 2019. Ever since its foundation, Havana has played a pivotal role in the country’s history, art and culture, and the city retains a mythic aura that seduces visitors and natives alike. We take this opportunity to explore what different representations of Havana may tell us about Cuba today, while also reassessing critically the artistic, literary and cultural representations of Cuba’s past. Through a special focus on the revolutionary Havana of the Castro era (1959–2018), this conference also draws attention to the relation between aesthetics and politics, both in its radical and totalitarian forms.   


Elizabeth Dore (University of Southampton): Vedado is like Old Havana—but with rouge.’ An Oral History

Nanne Timmer (Leiden University): Havana Fastforward: Urban Ruins and Highways in Recent Cuban Literature (by Jorge Enrique Lage and others)
Kjetil Klette Bøhler (Oslo Metropolitan University): Pleasurable Nationalism’ in Cuban Timba Grooves

12.30–13.15: Lunch

Anne Natvig (Volda University College): Journalism culture in Cuba: Between Professional Ideals and National Ideology
Even Sandvik Underlid (University of Bergen): The Power of Roots and the Roots of Power: Symbolical and Political Functions of Havana's Revolution Square
Vegard Bye (Scanteam): Cuba after Fidel

The seminar will be held in English.