Memoir: “No Such Thing as a Free Gift” on being an anthropologist in Cuba

Richel's house from aboveAfter a long editing process, my memoir of an 11-day trip to Cuba in 2008 has appeared in Construction magazine.

It’s about a search for some vision of “authenticity,” and the concept of reciprocity.

You can read it here. It’s long–grab a coffee.

“Upset by the division I saw at the café, and determined to find something that resembled my vision of authentic Cuban life, I patrolled the narrow streets of Habana Vieja. A meeting of Communist Party officials, a whorehouse, a cigar factory—anything! Just give me something besides a manufactured experience! But—though I did stumble on a harem—Habana Vieja offered only art galleries, museums, and bars, all for foreigners.”

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