The lumpen and the popular: Guillermo Cabrero Infante and Julio Garcia Espinosa

Olga Rodriguez-Falcon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article deals with the post-1959 re-definitions of the concept of ‘popular culture’ and its relation to the cultural legacy of Havana's nightlife during the 1950s. After the 1959 Revolution, many Euro-Cuban cultural producers saw and represented the cultural expressions of the Afro-Cuban poor in the capital as being central to Cuban ‘popular culture’. This article focuses mainly on two Euro-Cuban authors, writer Guillermo Cabrera Infante and filmmaker Julio García Espinosa, whose works during the first years of the 1960s were highly influenced by Havana's nightlife culture. What both authors shared was a view of the nocturnal in Havana as the heterotopical space and time—following Foucault's concept of ‘heterotopia’ (1998: 175-185)—where the divisions between high and low art in Cuba could be transcended through the encounters of the different cultural traditions then cohabiting in the city.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-479
Number of pages15
JournalBulletin of Latin American Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


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