San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
In this paper, Ivan Darias Alfonso discusses the process of identity formation amongst Cuban emigrants in London.
In London, Cuban migrants do not feel obliged to identify with the politics of their homeland, yet the very diversity of the city, as well as the experience of migration, provokes in them the desire to reaffirm their Cubanness. Compared to their experience on the island, emigrants consider their identity as a matter of ‘becoming’ as well as of ‘being’. On the island they were just Cubans; there was no need to make a conscious decision about their identity. In London they become more Cuban when they integrated a more inclusive notion of national culture, gained in diaspora, to their sense of self. This represents a way to position themselves with respect to the rest of the Londoners or Britons, the rest of the world and their fellow compatriots living in Cuba or in its diasporic hot spots. The paper is based on a series of qualitative interviews carried out in London during 2007-2009.
When & Where
UCL Institute of the Americas
co-ordinating teaching and research on the Western Hemisphere. Its
wide coverage of the Americas includes the United States and Latin
America, the Caribbean and Canada, offering an opportunity to acquire
in-depth and multi-disciplinary knowledge of the Americas that is
unique in Europe.