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Rethinking Cuban Civil Society: an inside look into Cuba's current dynamics often neglected by the U.S. mainstream media.
Rethinking Cuban Civil Society: an inside look into Cuba's current dynamics often neglected by the U.S. mainstream media.
44 backers pledged $6,050 to help bring this project to life.

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Rethinking Cuban Civil Society

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The notion of a Cuban civil society is often neglected or misrepresented by U.S. mainstream media. According to most sources, Cuban civil society is limited to political opposition, which has little impact on Cuban society. Consequently, every year the U.S. government allocates tens of millions of tax payer money to empower the opposition in Cuba. Such a narrative dismisses any instances of pluralism, reform and contestation that are taking place within Cuban society, sometimes in an autonomous way, sometimes inside state-run institutions. 

Observatorio Crítico. Taller Libertario. Havana, June 2015.
Observatorio Crítico. Taller Libertario. Havana, June 2015.

These sectors of Cuban society are very critical of the Cuban government but, since they are not deemed "dissidents" by the U.S., nor receive U.S. funds, they remain invisible for the U.S. mainstream media, as scholars such as Sujatha Fernandes have noted.

Isabel (in the middle) with Magia and Alexei, from Obsesión, Hip Hop Duet
Isabel (in the middle) with Magia and Alexei, from Obsesión, Hip Hop Duet

In June of 2015, I visited the island and interviewed bloggers, members of religious organizations, members of autonomous intellectual groups, journalists (both affiliated with state institutions and independent), musicians and independent filmmakers, who are critical of the Cuban government but who also share a common view: Cuba has to change in many ways, but it is up to Cubans to decide the way such changes are to be implemented. Further, U.S. interventionist policies are not welcomed by any of these sectors nor by the majority of the Cuban population, and are an affront to deep-rooted nationalism. 

Mairim, young Cuban film editor
Mairim, young Cuban film editor

The purpose of this documentary is to shed some light on said processes which, in spite of shaping Cuban's everyday life, remain in the shadows for the American audience, even in the context of having re-established diplomatic relations to begin a process of normalization between both nations. 

José Jasán Nieves, independent journalist
José Jasán Nieves, independent journalist
Roberto Veiga and Lenier González, coordinator and vice-cordinator at independent journal Cuba Posible
Roberto Veiga and Lenier González, coordinator and vice-cordinator at independent journal Cuba Posible
Exhibit at Taller Libertario Alfredo López
Exhibit at Taller Libertario Alfredo López

Risks and challenges

The purpose of this documentary is mainly educational, not commercial. The risks and challenges involve to be able to access the potential community of viewers interested in the project.

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Funding period

- (31 days)