Commodity Frontiers and Environmental Change in a Challenged Coastal Region of Cuba

Commodities of Empire has been awarded an AHRC Research Networking grant towards the project ‘Commodity Frontiers and Environmental Change in a Challenged Coastal Region of Cuba’. This will be a collaboration between Commodities of Empire, at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study, and the Fundación Núñez Jiménez de la Naturaleza y el Hombre in Cuba, and will establish a global network of scholars working on the historical impact of commodity frontiers and extreme weather events on vulnerable communities.

The project will involve the production of a pilot three-part series of 20-minute documentaries, in English and Spanish, exploring how a history of hurricanes and global commodity frontiers has impacted on the natural environment, and coastal and rural communities made vulnerable by excessive exploitation of natural resources and the inequalities of the global market. It will focus on the local community of Caibarién, which was in the eye of Hurricane Irma in September 2017, and the surrounding region of Remedios, in north-central Cuba.

As well as bringing together relevant experts, a group of local people will be established in Caibarién, with direct experience and knowledge of the historical changes in the area, as they relate to local commodity frontiers and the impact of hurricanes. Their input will be particularly important for the production of the documentaries. A series of workshops will also be held in Cuba, exploring the wider themes and showing the results of the filming.

The films will be written and produced by Prof. Jean Stubbs and Dr. Jonathan Curry-Machado, and directed by Prof. Michael Chanan.

For further information about this project, please contact Jonathan Curry-Machado.