When biographies cross necrographies

the exchange of ‘affinity’ in Cuba

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Abstract

In Cuba one might encounter a lively exchange occurring between the living and the dead (los muertos), one which is often described in terms of ‘affinity’. This involves a reciprocity among the biographies of the former, the past (biographies) and present condition (‘necrography’) of the latter, who are not in the least limited to ancestors or previously intimate to the living persons. The intensification of such exchange takes place within a dynamic and multiple field of identifications and differentiations, wherein the dead slowly become dead in a parallel process of un-becoming living, through becoming ‘affinity’ muertos of their living counterparts. This could be said to be the point of what is going on, but things, when they get so radically mobilised through exchange, might also go beyond the point of conclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)946-970
JournalEthnos
Volume82
Issue number5
Early online date2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2017

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Keywords

  • Biography
  • Cuba
  • Death
  • Divination
  • Exchange

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