WSCC Humankind presenter to discuss Cuban art

October 25, 2019

WSCC Humankind presenter to discuss Cuban art

VICTORY TOWNSHIP — West Shore Community College’s Humankind series on Cuba continues with political scientist Yvon Grenier on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at WSCC’s Center Stage Theater. He will discuss the environment artists and intellectuals in Cuba have faced in recent years.

Grenier, a professor at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada, “is a sharp-eyed observer of culture and politics in Latin America” said Brooke Portmann, WSCC’s dean of arts & science.

“The story he tells about artists in Cuba seems contradictory. Artists have experienced ‘unprecedented freedom to express themselves’ as well as receive solid training. Yet their artistic expression has not lived up to the renaissance many anticipated in a post-Castro Cuba. Grenier attributes this to recent laws that have restricted their freedom.”

Grenier will also examine the way social scientists lives are restricted in post-Castro Cuba. For example, Portmann notes, Grenier has found that it isn’t really possible for Cuban sociologists who are still living and working in Cuba to accurately describe power relationships between groups of people there–a core work of sociology. “Analysis of the government that isn’t in agreement with the government is still not acceptable.”

As Grenier sees it, artists in Cuba have a good deal more freedom than others. Artists, he says, “are somewhat privileged compared to almost any other [group of] citizens in Cuba.”

“Grenier’s presentation will be an unusual opportunity to get inside Cuban life in ways that we can’t through ordinary newscasts or special programs,” said Portmann.

The last three programs in the Humankind series this fall include a discussion by the collector and historian of the political and film posters on exhibit now through Dec. 6, in the college’s Manierre Dawson Gallery, an Afro-Cuban concert by Pedrito Martinez Group at the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts, Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m., and a documentary film “Rethinking Cuban Civil Society” at the Vogue Theatre Manistee on Nov. 12, at 7 p.m.

Events are free and open to the public, except for the Pedrito Martinez Group concert at the Ramsdell. Tickets can be purchased through

For more information about the series, contact Brooke Portmann, 231-843-5866, or, or check out and


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