Multimodal Literacies of Cuban Artists Living in Habana, Cuba: Video Portraitures of Creativity As Action
AuthorButler, Eliza Desiree
AdvisorDa Silva Iddings, Ana C.
Smith, Blaine E.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study examines the experiences of 10 Cuban artists living in Habana, Cuba and their sense making as they consume and produce multimodal literacies as visual, performing and digital artists. Drawing from Lawrence-Lightfoot and Davis’ (1994) method of Portraiture, I worked collaboratively with each artist to extend the portraiture process, in which we co-constructed video portraits of their multimodal literary practices. The fieldwork from this ethnographic study took place while living in Habana, Cuba for 7 months during the 2016-2017 school year. During this time, I worked alongside each artist, visited their homes, observing their creative processes, conducted semi-formal interviews and attended their performances. I ask: “What multimodal literacy practices are Cuban Artists living in Habana employing, and for what purposes?” In my analysis, I focus on emergent themes shared by each artist as I reviewed the data collected through audio recordings, photography and video documentation. I emphasize the study of the consumption and production of multimodal literacies in the lives of Cuban artists, with the positionality to support Cuban artists with reclaiming their stories in a historically geopolitical complex space. My research adopts a humanistic disposition in research, and I draw from a post-structuralist theoretical framework coupled with Lawrence- Lightfoot’s and Davis’s (1994) methodology of Portraiture. “It [portraiture as a method] embraces both analytic rigor (a perspective that is distant, discerning, and skeptical) and community building (acts of intimacy and connection)” (Lawrence-Lightfoot & Davis, 2005, p.12). This interdisciplinary research illuminates the innovative potential of the collaboration of art and the social sciences. Through the study of multimodal literacy practices and the production of multimodal texts (i.e. video portraiture and written dissertation) this research examines the affective and sociocultural sense making as expressed by artists, who provide insight into learning more about politicized learning bodies, remixing knowledge as they interact dynamically through space and place and carrying and constructing multiple ways of knowing. This research examines the agentive role of artists as they apply multimodality and creativity in their everyday practices (de Certeau, 1984) within the historically complex sociopolitical context of Habana in the year 2016- 2017. Combining of the use of video as a methodological tool with portraiture methodology provided an opportunity for the analysis of complex relationships across modes, and an the insiders’ emic perspectives of how producers manipulate modes to reclaim their own stories. The act of storytelling and self authoring was utilized as an instrumental tool for artists to express a critical lens to their sociocultural context, through the employment of creativity in their everyday lives. This work provides insight into the complexities of multimodal composing as an embodied and affective process. All video portraitures can be accessed at elizadesireebutler.com.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading & Culture