The publishing industry of Cuba experienced a seismic shift in 1959 when Fidel Castro won a revolutionary war against dictator Fulgencio Batista. With this change, underground and subversive media creators of the Batista era became an important part of the new socialist culture. This helped to mobilize the masses in support of the new Castro government and against U.S. capitalistic ideology.
Fidel Castro understood that media and graphic art could guide ideology and could be used as an educational tool because he knew that it had already being used before in Cuba.
A new exhibit at the Benson Latin American Collection — Cuban Comics in the Castro Era — examines the art and history of Cuban comics after the successful 1959 revolution, highlighting the creators, characters, heroes, and anti-heroes of Cuba. It also touches on the triumphs and failures of the publishing industry and how Cuban artists today struggle to keep the genre alive.
Cuban Comics in the Castro Era will be on view in the Benson Latin American Collection main reading room, December 6, 2019–March 1, 2020.