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Digital media and the empowerment of Cuban musicians in tumultuous times: ¿Un nuevo amanecer?

Authors:

Marlinde Weener ,

Independent scholar, NL
About Marlinde

Marlinde Weener is an independent researcher who received a Master’s degree at University Utrecht in International Development Studies. She is interested in Latin American studies, human rights and gender equality.

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Femke van Noorloos

Utrecht University, NL
About Femke

Femke van Noorloos is an assistant professor of International Development Studies and Human Geography and Planning at Utrecht University. Her research and teaching focus on urban development in Africa and Latin America; particularly on land and housing issues in (sub)urban settings, new cities
and private sector investment in urban development, citizen initiatives and urban governance.

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Abstract

Digital technology has profoundly reconfigured state-society relations and Cuba’s recent broadening of internet access makes for a fascinating case in this regard. However, what this means for the country’s music sector is poorly researched. We explore the role digital media plays in the empowerment of Cuban musicians. While digital media allows musicians to work more independently from government institutions, the ability to benefit from the opportunity depends on unequally distributed resources. Nonetheless, the government’s broadening of internet access goes hand in hand with increasing control over musicians’ autonomy and expression, leading to a cycle of protest and repression. Digital media provides a highly self-reinforcing tool for collective action. 


Resumen: Medios digitales y el empoderamiento de los músicos cubanos en tiempos
tumultuosos: ¿Un nuevo amanecer?
La tecnología digital ha cambiado profundamente las relaciones entre estado y sociedad, como lo muestra el caso de Cuba, donde el acceso a internet se ha extendido recientemente. Sin embargo, existen pocos estudios que demuestren qué significan estos desarrollos para el sector musical en Cuba. En este artículo exploramos el papel que juegan los medios digitales en el empoderamiento de los músicos cubanos. Los medios digitales ayudan a los músicos a trabajar más independientemente de las instituciones gubernamentales. Sin embargo, las posibilidades de beneficiarse de estas oportunidades no están distribuidas de manera equita-tiva. La ampliación del acceso a internet por parte del gobierno va de la mano con el control sobre la expresión musical, causando un ciclo de protestas y represión. Los medios digitales ofrecen una herramienta autorreforzante para la acción colectiva. 

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32992/erlacs.10877
How to Cite: Weener, M., & van Noorloos, F. (2022). Digital media and the empowerment of Cuban musicians in tumultuous times: ¿Un nuevo amanecer?. European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, (113), 63–87. DOI: http://doi.org/10.32992/erlacs.10877
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Published on 28 Jun 2022.
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