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Accepted Paper:

Spirits, lies, and spies in Havana   
Diana Espirito Santo (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)

Paper long abstract:

Tight-knit political environments tend to engender forms of suspicion that the anthropologist is rarely exempt from. It is perhaps unremarkable that in socialist Cuba, where an ethic of vigilance and self-censorship still plays a foundational role in everyday life, paranoia abounds, and increasingly so among Afro-Cuban religious networks and adepts, where it has become a cosmo-'logic'. In this environment, however, it is not just humans the deceivers or recipients of deception: spirits too wield forms suspicion and misconception among the world of the living with often startling consequences. Drawing on some of my own experiences (among which, to my horror, is being accused of being a spy for Fidel Castro) in this paper I explore the legitimacy and even necessity of dealing with, confronting and rebutting suspicion with the same conceptual and material tools as used by 'others', whether as direct rhetoric, via the mediation or spirits, or through the silent wars of counter-witchcraft.

Panel W044
What are you really doing here? Suspicion and the politics of ethnography
  Session 1