This essay tells the story of a caldosa (both a stew and the gathering where it is served) hosted in 2016 by a network of Black lesbian activists in Havana, Cuba, that took place on the morning after the Pulse massacre in Orlando, Florida. The author explores the caldosa as both an example of and a metaphor for the transnational, coalitional, and space-making politics of Black lesbian activists in the island. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, and a participatory mapping project, the author shows how the work of making caldosa connects the local practice of space-making to a hemispheric and anticipatory Black lesbian politic. The essay builds on previous work on Black lesbian feminism in Cuba and provides insight into the type of activism that was happening in the island in the mid-2010s, which laid the groundwork for the growth in Afro-feminist and Afro-queer activism in the following years.
La Caldosa: Afro-Lesbian Space-Making and Transnational Politics in Havana
Kerry White is a PhD candidate in American culture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her research interests include transgender studies in the Americas, ethnographic writing and practice, and Caribbean studies. Her dissertation project blurs ethnography, memoir, and testimonio to explore trans life histories between Cuba and the United States. She received a BA from Lewis and Clark College and an MA in Latin American studies from the University of Florida.
Kerry White; La Caldosa: Afro-Lesbian Space-Making and Transnational Politics in Havana. Small Axe 1 November 2023; 27 (3 (72)): 32–48. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-10899316
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