La Jiribilla: “Una Batalla por la Verdad” (A Battle for the Truth)
Transformational knowledge with the power to provoke and sustain fundamental social change on a global scale will not come from single expert sources. Although neoliberal hegemonic ideas about globalization may seem unassailable, activists armed with local knowledges rooted in diverse intellectual practices and geopolitical realities are converging at a new dialogical crossroads to envision and enact more socially inclusive and just planetary futures. At these metaphorical public crossroads online, oppositional knowledge is socially constructed and configured as divergent local discourses negotiate to address local and global problems. Lajiribilla.cu is an online Cuban cultural magazine set in a politicized international framework of defending the revolution and a local, internal framework of transforming it. Lajiribilla.cu, a project of the Cuban Ministry of Culture, draws on intellectuals in Cuba and a network of international scholars, journalists, writers and activists to develop and project Cubanidad, the collective identity experience of being Cuban in complicated global and local contexts. This study explores the website as an example of a purposeful internet project for the production and dissemination of local cultural knowledge authorized to speak in a global war of position. It exists at a dialectical crossroads, what may seem at times to be more of a crosshairs of vulnerability to cyber attack by anti-Castro Cuban exiles and constant contention with U.S. hegemony. Even as lajiribilla.cu rails against the four decade-long U.S. blockade of the island, it creates a new kind of public space for the critical intellectual exchange necessary among Cubans in Cuba and elsewhere who are engaged in the ongoing development of the revolution.
Keywords: Oppositional Knowledge, Cuban Culture and Politics, Media and Knowledge, Online Public Space
Dr. Beverly Bickel
LLC Research Assistant Professor and ELC Director, Language, Literacy and Culture Program & English Language Center, University of Maryland