Foro Europa Cuba - Working paper nº 16

Being / becoming professional: emerging work practices and the politics of cultural heritage in light of legislative change in Cuba. (an ethnographic approach)

Publication date:
Ruxandra Ana, Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, University of Warsaw

Working paper nº 16 (2020)

Dance teaching aimed at international tourists is a relatively new type of private business in Cuba, which creates the premises for capitalizing on cultural heritage both on the island and outside of it, while revealing newly emerging work practices and attitudes towards work. In this new context, tensions arise between notions of ‘professionalism’ defined from the point of view of the Cuban state and its institutions that specialize in dance education, on the one hand, and private businesses, on the other, where ideas of market, competitiveness and personal branding put forward new understandings of what it means to be professional.