The Cuban Hustle

Culture, Politics, Everyday Life

The Cuban Hustle

Book Pages: 200 Illustrations: 21 illustrations Published: October 2020

Art and Visual Culture, Latin American Studies, Music

In The Cuban Hustle, Sujatha Fernandes explores the multitudinous ways artists, activists, and ordinary Cubans have sought to hustle, survive, and express themselves in the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse. Whether circulating information on flash drives as a substitution for the internet or building homemade antennas to listen to Miami’s hip hop radio stations, Cubans are often forced to improvise alternative strategies and workarounds to contend with ongoing isolation. Throughout these essays, Fernandes examines the emergence of dynamic youth cultures and social movements as Cuba grappled with economic collapse, new digital technologies, the normalization of diplomatic ties with the United States during the Obama administration, and the regression of US-Cuba relations in the Trump era. From reflections on feminism, new Cuban cinema, and public art to urban slums, the Afro-Cuban movement, and rumba and hip hop, Fernandes reveals Cuba to be a world of vibrant cultures grounded in an ethos of invention and everyday hustle.


“A fascinating dossier about the challenges and preoccupations of post-Soviet Cuba. From negotiating the fallout from a globalizing economy to new movements in the visual arts, music, film, feminism, and racial consciousness, Sujatha Fernandes brings readers up-to-date on the inventive, evolving hustle that is Cuba's survival.” — Cristina García, author of Here in Berlin

“In a complex and nuanced way, Sujatha Fernandes describes Cuba's most recent two decades, focusing on subjects that have not been written about in this much detail. She contributes to a new understanding of present-day Cuba—and its many fascinating idiosyncrasies, tensions, and creative solutions to complicated problems—in an engaging and politically sophisticated style that general readers will enjoy.” — Margaret Randall, author of I Never Left Home: Poet, Feminist, Revolutionary


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Open Access

Spring 2020 Sale
Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Sujatha Fernandes is Professor of Political Economy and Sociology at the University of Sydney and author of Cuba Represent!: Cuban Arts, State Power, and the Making of New Revolutionary Cultures and Who Can Stop the Drums?: Urban Social Movements in Chávez's Venezuela both also published by Duke University Press, and most recently, Curated Stories: The Uses and Misuses of Storytelling.

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Table of Contents Forthcoming
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Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0964-1 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0870-5