Cuba: Living Between Hurricanes

Written by Jonathan Curry-Machado, and telling the story through the voices of those who were interviewed for the Cuba: Living Between Hurricanes documentary (2019, dir. Michael Chanan), this is a book about the elements – hurricanes and rain, the sea and the earth. About a fishing port on the north coast of Cuba which has seen better days: Caibarién, where Hurricane Irma – one of the most powerful to ever sweep the Caribbean – made landfall on 9th September 2017. About the effects of climate across the centuries in a Caribbean island sucked into global markets for its commodity crops – tobacco, coffee and above all sugar. How sugar changed the landscape, through deforestation and soil exhaustion. About the collapse of sugar and the encroachment of a new commodity market – tourism. About the growing threat from climate chagne, and the move towards reforestation, ecotourism and sustainable farming.

“Enjoyable and flowing…. I like the tone achieved from the speakers: conscientious, critical and with threads of nostalgia…. open to the possibilities for the future…. Cuba has always lived between hurricanes, of different kinds. One can have quite varied debates after watching the film.” (Concha Mateos, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid)

“A small enclave in the Caribbean can become a multifaceted crystal in which to observe the globalised past and present, the complex dynamics that interconnect human actions and nature.” (María Luisa Ortega, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

“Tells the urgent story of the effects of climate change on the island by examining the links between the ecology, economic development, and social and political history.” (Trish Meehan, Cuba Sí)

The book is published by Amaurea Press (2021), and available through or . A Spanish edition of the book is also available.