Ada Ferrer is Professor of History and Latin American and Caribbean Studies and New York University. She will present her new book, Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2014) at Books & Books in Coral Gables on Monday, March 2, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.
During the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1804, arguably the most radical revolution of the modern world, slaves and former slaves succeeded in ending slavery and establishing an independent state. Yet on the Spanish island of Cuba barely fifty miles distant, the events in Haiti helped usher in the antithesis of revolutionary emancipation. When Cuban planters and authorities saw the devastation of the neighboring colony, they rushed to fill the void left in the world market for sugar, to buttress the institutions of slavery and colonial rule, and to prevent “another Haiti” from happening in their own territory.
Freedom’s Mirror follows the reverberations of the Haitian Revolution in Cuba, where the violent entrenchment of slavery occurred at the very moment that the Haitian Revolution provided a powerful and proximate example of slaves destroying slavery. By creatively linking two stories – the story of the Haitian Revolution and that of the rise of Cuban slave society – that are usually told separately, Ada Ferrer sheds fresh light on both of these crucial moments in Caribbean and Atlantic history.
Ada Ferrer’s first book, Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868-1898, (which appeared in French and Spanish translation) won the 2000 Berkshire Book Prize for the best first book by a woman in any field of history. Her recent article “Haiti, Free, Soil and Atlantic Antislavery” (2012) won the John Hope Franklin Prize from the Law and Society Association and the Paul Vanderwood Prize from the Conference of Latin American History. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council, and the Fulbright Commission, among others. Freedom’s Mirror was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2015 PROSE Award for European and World History by the Association of American Publishers.
Be among the first to witness this innovative adaptation of the world famous opera Carmen set in Cuba in 1958. Written and directed by Tony nominated director Moisés Kaufman, Carmen opens on November 12 at the University of Miami’s Jerry Herman Ring Theatre. Learn more >
The Cuban Heritage Collection has contributed books, photographs, documents, and original art from our holdings to four external exhibitions on view this fall. If you see our materials at any of these, snap a photograph and tag us on Instagram or Twitter @UMCHC.
Wifredo Lam: Imagining New Worlds at the Boston College McMullen Museum of Art, August 30-December 14, 2014, at the High Museum of Art Atlanta, February 14-May 24, 2015
Margarita Cano: Once Upon an Island at the Miami-Dade College Wolfson Campus Centre Gallery, September 4-October 31, 2014
Kept at Bay: Art on Guantánamo at Florida International University’s Frost Art Museum, September 10-October 19, 2014
The Exile Experience: Journey to Freedom at Miami-Dade College Museum of Art + Design at Freedom Tower, opening on September 19, 2014
If you’re in the Boston area this fall, consider a visit to the McMullen Museum at Boston College, where a major exhibition will open August 30 exploring the canon of Cuban painter Wifredo Lam (1902-1982). Wifredo Lam: Imagining New Worlds will present more than forty paintings and a wide selection of works on paper, examining the full range of the artist’s career. CHC lent materials for this retrospective, which also examines Lam’s many artistic and poetic influences, including Pablo Picasso, André Breton, Federico García Lorca, Alejo Carpentier, Gabriel García Marquez, and Aimé Cesaire. The exhibition will run through December 14.
La Avellaneda and Baquero:
An Enduring Bridge Between Cuba and Spain
Friday, June 6 – Saturday, June 7
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Centro Cultural Español de Miami
1490 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL, 33122
Presented by Ediciones La gota de agua and the Centro Cultural Español de Miami. Co-sponsored by Florida International University’s Cuban Research Institute, Pen Club de escritores cubanos en el exilio and other institutions.
Work sessions dealing with the life and work of these authors and their relationship with both Cuba and Spain. Exhibition of a documentary film, and dramatization of two theatrical works.
The Other Side of Paradise: Life in the New Cuba
Wednesday, May 14
Books & Books
265 Aragon Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Over a period of five years, beginning when Fidel Castro stepped down from his presidency after almost a half-century of reign, journalist Julia Cooke embedded herself in Cuba, gaining access to a dynamic Havana—one that she found populated with twenty-five-year-old Marxist philosophy students, baby-faced anarchists, children of the whiskey-drinking elite, Santería trainees, pregnant prostitutes, and more. Combining intimate storytelling with in-depth reportage, The Other Side of Paradise weaves together stories of the Cubans whom Cooke encountered, providing a vivid and unprecedented look into the daily lives and future prospects of young people in Cuba today. From ambitious Lucía—a recent university graduate with an acerbic sense of humor and plans to leave Cuba for the first country to give her a visa, if she can just get the roadblocks out of the way—to a crew of mohawk-wearing teenage anarchists who toss bricks at police cars and cite lyrics by The Clash (but don’t know the lead singer’s name), the characters of The Other Side of Paradise paint a captivating portrait of Cuban culture and the emerging legacy of Fidel Castro’s failed promises.
Impact and Legacy: 50 Years of the CINTAS Foundation
On view through July 12, 2014
MDC Museum of Art + Design
Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College
600 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL 33132
This exhibition is free and open to the public.
Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Museum of Art + Design (MOAD) will present Impact and Legacy: 50 Years of the CINTAS Foundation, an exhibition encompassing 50 years of the famed foundation’s support of Cuban-born artists, writers, architects, and composers working outside of Cuba. Opening Friday, April 25, the exhibition is organized and curated by the Museum and includes more than 160 works spanning five decades from the foundation’s prestigious collection.
In support of the exhibition, the Museum will host a lecture and discussion by Latin American art scholar and professor of arts administration and policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Rachel Weiss, at 1 p.m., Saturday, May 10. The lecture will explore the magnitude of contemporary artists of Cuban descent and will present a larger project Weiss is currently working on about artworks that revisit traumatic histories. In addition, Weiss will sign copies of her recent book, To and From Utopia in the New Cuban Art (University of Minnesota Press, 2011), available for purchase at the Museum. Free and open to the public. Please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 305-237-7700.