This essay argues that female rappers Las Krudas are, with their music, engaging in trangressive spatial practice. Las Krudas are especially helping to disrupt the classificatory eye's orientalist gaze—which visually and aurally disciplines space through the distribution of bodies and voices—through their public performances. In the tourist zones the classificatory eye looks upon a sanitized space, producing, in concert with the ear, ordered visual and aural landscapes evocative of the “authentic” Cuba. I suggest that sound can make visible spatial practice. Las Krudas perform music and theater—aimed at disrupting the definition of who is authentically Cuban—in the heart of the tourist zone.

Widening the “circle of the we,” the space Las Krudas' music elaborates is seemingly heterotopic in that it may not be represented physically, yet it presupposes a “system of opening and closing that both isolates . . . and makes [it] impenetrable” (Foucault 1986, 26), making the heterotopia a space that erects its own fluid and autonomous boundaries. Las Krudas' music also expands diasporic space, transgresses geographic borders, and links sound to place: La Habana. In La Habana, Las Krudas borrow from shared diasporic resources (hip-hop culture/rap music, African drum rhythms and chants) when fashioning a musical aesthetic that allows for the articulation of the “local” as well as the “global.”

Finally, I move beyond Foucault's spatial model of disciplinary power by citing de Certeau's walking in the city as analogous to the agential speech act. I suggest that the creation of sound/aural landscape/music is a particularly powerful productive tool for speaking back to and ultimately destabilizing disciplinary power.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.