Experiencing Cuba 2024

Professors Michael Birembaum Quintero and Ana María Reyes led the course CAS AA306E/CFA MH563 – Experiencing Cuba: History, Culture and Politics,” during the 2024 Spring Break. The course was sponsored by The African American & Black Diaspora Studies (AFAMBDS) Program, the History of Art & Architecture Department, the Political Science Department, the College of Fine Arts, and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Undergraduate and graduate students travelled to Havana to study the music, religion, arts, and history of this island-nation with a focus on Afro-Cuban history and practices. The group was able to learn about the rich artistic and architectural history of the city, as well as enjoy the delicious Caribbean cuisine and dance to a variety of different music genres.  Students were given the rare and privileged opportunity to learn about Afro-Cuban religious practices from leaders and practitioners themselves, including a visit to the important basilica of the Virgen of Regla and the Regla Cabildo. Some of the highlights of the week included visits to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Callejón Hamel, Instituto Superior de Arte, the Instituto de Amistad de los Pueblos, Memorial de la Denuncia, and the Fabrica de Arte. The group also met with premier artists including the Prima Ballerina Liliet Orozco, the Conjunto de Baile Folklórico Nacional, as well as famed artists Manuel Mendive and Alexis Esquivel. Overall, it was a transformative experience for all who participated.

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  • Students outside the Plaza de la Revolución