Andy Alfonso

Spanish & Portuguese

Research Interests: Cuba, the Caribbean, Latin American art, politics and literature.

Andy’s research has focused on the system of labor camps established in Cuba from 1965 to 1968. Often referred to as UMAP (Military Units to Aid Production) these camps served as “re-education” centers for select personae non gratae, who were forced into unfree labor in service of economic progress. Through an exploration of testimonies penned by survivors and witnesses, Andy contends that the UMAP constitute ground zero for the performance of processes of dispossession, conversion, extraction, identification, litigation, and memorialization, all rooted in a matrix of violence imbued with affect. To that extent, his research examines the ways in which infrastructure and the distribution of space, in conjunction with the aesthetic reinventions of the spatial order, have informed practices of systemic racism and epistemic violence, of resistance and insurgency in contemporary Cuba.

research promotional poster