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katrin HansingKatrin Hansing

Dr. Katrin Hansing is Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Baruch College (CUNY). Prior to her tenure at Baruch she was the Associate Director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University in Miami. As an anthropologist she has spent the last thirteen years conducting research in the Caribbean (especially Cuba) and Southern Africa and its diasporas. Her main areas of interest and expertise include: race/ethnicity, religion, migration, transnational relations, remittances, medical internationalism, youth, and civil society. Currently she is working on a new book project on contemporary Cuban youth.

Dr. Hansing received her Ph.D. from the University of Oxford and is the author of numerous publications including the book Rasta, Race, and Revolution: The Emergence and Development of the Rastafari Movement in Socialist Cuba (2006). She has worked as a consultant for think tanks and policy institutes, is often quoted in the international media and recently completed her first documentary film: 'Freddy Ilanga: Che's Swahili Translator' about Cuban - African relations.

Rasta, Race and Revolution: The Emergence and Development of the Rastafari Movement in Socialist Cuba

Decades after its birth and subsequent tour du monde Rastafari has more recently also appeared in revolutionary Cuba. How the movement has been globalized and subsequentially localized in a socialist and Spanish speaking context are the main foci of this book. In particular it examines how Cubans have adopted and adapted the movement to their own socio-political and cultural context and what, given these circumstances, 'Babylon' is in Cuba. As a predominantly Afro-Cuban youth movement particular attention is paid to Rastafari's development in the context of Cuba's current economic crisis and reappearance of more overt racism. Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Cuba, the study shows how Rastafari's growth and presence on the island have influenced and contributed to the formation and expression of new cultural identities and discourses with regard to what it means to be young, black and Cuban.

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Freddy Ilanga: Che's Translator

Freddy Ilanga: Che’s Swahili Translator, Icarus Films

Screening of "Freddy Ilanga: Che's Swahili Translator"  10/30/2009 Seton Hall: "Join us for a free screening of "Freddy Ilanga: Che's Swahili Translator" on November 5 at 6 p.m. in the Science and Technology Center Auditorium. A roundtable discussion with film director Katrin Hansing, and professors Maxim Matusevich and Vincente Medina will follow the screening. This film is a documentary about Freddy Ilanga, an African man whose life was abruptly transformed through a chance encounter with one of the great icons of the 20th Century and which has predominantly been determined by the power struggles of the Cold War and the Cuban Revolution. It is a story about migration and displacement and the high human costs caused by states' neglect and disrespect for individual human rights."

Obituary: Freddy Ilanga Yaite  2/8/2006 The Guardian: "As a boy in the Congo, Freddy Ilanga Yaite, who has died aged 56, tried to teach Swahili to Che Guevara during the abortive 1965 Cuban campaign to spark an African revolution. Then, sent by Che to Havana, he qualified as a paediatric neurosurgeon, becoming one of that select group who championed Che's ideas and burnished his reputation in Cuba."




The Role and Impact of Remittances on Small Business Development during Cuba’s Current Economic Reforms  6/1/2014 Desigualdades: by Katrin Hansing and Manuel Orozco - "This paper explores the extent to which Cuban remittance recipients are responding to the Cuban government’s current economic reforms which seek to incentivize entrepreneurial activities as an economic growth strategy and state liberalization policy. In so doing we hope to make some preliminary observations and recommendations about the potential role and impact of remittances in Cuba’s socio-economic development. It is based on an original survey conducted in Cuba in 2012."

For Cuba, a harsh self-assessment  7/24/2013 Progresso Weekly: "Katrin Hansing, a professor of anthropology at City University of New York, who has studied Cuban youth, said growing up in an environment where cheating and duplicity were a way of living had bred cynicism. “This cynicism feeds into people’s lack of engagement,” she said. “Individual responsibility toward the collective is very low.” Youth feel alienated from the aging leadership, she said. “There is a very visual discrepancy between who is running the show and who’s living it,” Dr. Hansing said. Young people “are living in a parallel universe.”"

Rasta, race and revolution: Transnational connections in socialist Cuba  8/4/2010 Taylor & Francis: "Within the past three decades the Jamaican Rastafari movement has been transformed from a local Caribbean to a global cultural phenomenon. Reggae music and other popular cultural media have been the primary catalysts in this international spread of the movement. As a result, Rastafari has lost its original territorial moorings and become a travelling culture. Global in scope, Rastafari has nevertheless been localised in very different ways, depending on where the movement has been appropriated. This article examines the processes involved in the transnational journey of the movement's ideas, images and music and the multiple mechanisms involved in its indigenisation with specific reference to Rastafari's emergence and development in Cuba. In particular it looks at how the movement has entered the island, why and by whom it has been taken on, and how it manifests itself locally."

Cuba's Rastas  4/11/2004 Jamaican Observer: "According to Katrin Hansing, an anthropologist at Florida International University in Miami, "Not only is (Rastafarianism) now recognised as one of the leading Afro-Caribbean religions, but also as one of the most popular cultural trends in the world". She points out that "Rastafari communities and dreadlocked-inspired youth" can be found in Central America and Brazil, North America and Europe, many parts of Africa, and among the Maoris in New Zealand, Native Americans in the United States, and young people in Japan."

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