Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.

Accepted Paper:

State food or status food? Notes on food and imagination policies in Ciudad de la Habana (Cuba)  
Giovanna Neri (University of Milano-Bicocca)

Paper long abstract:

This paper analyses how food, subject of policies, plays an essential role in the organization of cuban society and in the construction of an imagined world. Based on my ethnographic fieldwork carried out in Ciudad de la Habana since 2007, the paper shows how Cubans seem to prefer "Status food"- bought in US dollars and above the potential incoming - to "State food"- given by the State through the "libreta" and bought for a few cuban pesos. My ethnographic interviews let me focus on how the State is an object of imagination and how it is involved in the desires sphere of the population.

The island of Cuba is under an economic restriction and a commercial embargo stiffened up in the 1990s by U.S.A. Despite that, according to recent statistics, Cuba is characterized by an high index of human development in relation to education, health, and birth expectations. This complex social, economic, and political situation sets Cuba apart from the rest of the Third World. Alimentation is one of the rights guaranteed by the State that - through the so-called "Canasta Basica" - provides food rations for the daily nutritional needs. Thus, in this paper, I assume that the predilection for "status food" has a political outcome and allows cuban people to express their idea of a new "imagined State", neighter only concentrating on aesthetic issues - fat body or slim body - nor on the creation of individual, social, religious or ethnic relationships.

Panel W010
Food: crisis and creativity
  Session 1