The decade of the 1840s marks the beginning of Chinese indentured servitude in Cuba. Chinese workers joined African slaves within a trans-national work force that contained indentured servants, slaves, and Iberian free laborers. This talk examines the process in which contemporary visual culture rendered Chinese Cubans visible, preserving the intersection of immigration, slavery, gender, trans-national labor, and the multiple hybrid cultural formations that resulted from this experience. Visual materials considered in this talk include lithographs and photographs produced by Creole Cubans and visitors from Europe and North America to record the transition from colonialism to nationhood.
Note: This lecture is the second in the series “Visual Representations of the Chinese Diasporas” organized by Boreth Ly (History of Art and Visual Culture) with the assistance of Hrishekesh Kashyap. It is made possible by the Arts Dean’s Research Initiative Fund and co-sponsored by the HAVC Department and Merrill College.