This essay focuses on the “dual” biopolitics of Cuban filmmaker Gloria Rolando’s Raíces de mi corazón (Roots of My Heart, 2001). In her film about an antiblack genocide in early-twentieth-century Cuba, Rolando seeks to recover the suppressed 1912 massacre of members of the black Cuban Partido Independiente de Color (the Independent Party of Color) and thousands of other Afro-Cubans through the plane of the intimate. The author argues that Rolando’s film challenges the myth of racial equality throughout Cuba’s modern history by celebrating Afro-Cuban traditions, from orisha rituals to patakíes (Afro-Cuban oral tradition), over a reappropriated plantational space in which black sensuality contests negative biopolitical forms. Rolando not only draws from transnational critical race theory to address the myth of Latin American exceptionalism, she also challenges Michel Foucault’s conceptualization of biopolitics casting black sensuality over racial violence.

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