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Cuba – U.S. Relations in the 19th Century and Now: Emilia – An Untold Latinx Story

Sat, May 25, 4:00 to 5:30pm, TBA

Session Submission Type: Workshop


This workshop will frame US-Cuban histories of exile, separation, and reunification through a partial screening and discussion of the documentary Emilia: An Untold Cuban American Story. Emilia is a first-person experimental narrative as the filmmaker, Luis Pérez Tolón, searches for ancestral roots. It explores the life of Emilia Teurbe Tolón, pioneer in the struggle for the birth of an independent Cuba and role model for women’s contributions in the fight for independence. Deported in 1850 for conspiring against Spanish rule, Emilia joined her husband in New York City where she participated in the liberation movement for Cuba. In exile she sewed the flag which became a symbol for the emerging Cuban nation. The filmmaker undertakes a journey to trace her life. Traveling from Miami to Cuba, Spain, France and New York, he discovers milestones about the history of Cuba, Latinx United States, and his ancestor. Anchored in history, filmmaking, and affects, this workshop will address the historical characters’ roles in 19th century Cuba-U.S. relations to illuminate 20th and 21st century Latinx stories of migration, displacement, and diaspora.

Dr. Manzor will introduce the workshop’s theoretical framework.

Luis Pérez Tolón will introduce the film.

Dr. Lamas will discuss the historical elements of the film, specifically the impact of Cuban annexationists on US history and the role of Emilia as a pioneering figure in 19th-century Latina history.

Dr. Pérez will discuss Miguel Teurbe Tolón’s polemic role in Cuban history and his role in the making of 19th century Cuban New York.

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