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Still waters run deep: Disability counter currents in La Piscina (2012).

Prout, Ryan ORCID: 2020. Still waters run deep: Disability counter currents in La Piscina (2012). Hartwig, Susanne, ed. Inclusión, integración, diferenciación: la diversidad funcional en la literatura, el cine y las artes escénica, Berlin: Peter Lang, pp. 275-291.

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The focus of this chapter is La piscina, directed by Carlos Quintela (2012). The film stands out as one of the few films made in Cuba to feature disabled people and to represent issues of functional diversity. I preface a close reading of the film, and of responses to it by Cuban and overseas scholars and viewers, with an overview of the bureaucracy by which disability support and advocacy is organised in Cuba. This illustration of organisational context, and of the polemical repackaging of representation of Cubans with disabilities, establishes the challenging premise represented by Quintela’s cohort of four adolescents with different disabilities. Using the work of Michael Bérubé I argue that the alienating anti-narrative of La piscina serves not only a rhetoric of obliquity but also the politicisation of disability story telling in film. In my interpretation I connect the peopling of the film’s location with disabled individuals to the social history of swimming pools and public space. The swimming pool indexes prejudices and progress as a site that has registered changing conventions about who is included by, and who is excluded from, civic projects. I deploy La piscina to query the access that disabled people have had to the swimming pool qua public space. By setting Quintela’s film against work by Elmgreen and Dragset at the Whitechapel Gallery, I suggest that the decline in civic infrastructure traverses consumerist and residually socialist societies.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Subjects: F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1201 Latin America (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
P Language and Literature > PC Romance languages
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cuba 1 Cuba Municipal swimming pool / Piscina municipal Public space / Espacios públicos Narrative incompletion / Inconclusión narrativa Disability metaphor / Discapacidad como metáfora Whitechapel Gallery Elmgreen and Dragset
Language other than English: Spanish
Publisher: Peter Lang
ISBN: 9783631815069
Funders: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 20 February 2020
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2022 12:16

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