Mestizaje/Hybridity (Mesti-bridity) as Struggle, Contest and Subversion in Plácido (1982) by Gerardo Fulleda León

Darrelstan Fitzwarren Ferguson


The major objective of this paper is to investigate the extent to which the author, Gerardo Fulleda León, problematises the concept of hybridity in his 1989 dramatic work, Plácido. It aims to identify the different ways in which race, class, nationhood, and even gender, all come to figure nineteenth-century Cuba as a hybrid state enduring struggle and contest. It uses Homi K. Bhabha’s  understanding of hybridity as a “third space” that constantly dialogues and clashes with its constituent selves, alongside Peter Wade’s similar reasoning of the term as precisely a process of “struggle and contest”. It finds that Fulleda León carries out multiple acts of subversion in the text primarily through juxtaposition and irony in order to privilege an Afrocentric discourse and restore the dignity of Afro-Cuban subjectivity. It concludes that, by way of revisiting a controversial event—the killing of the mulatto poet Plácido—etched in Cuban history, the author achieves the feat of denouncing Cuba’s racist past and memorialising the lifework and values of the tragic figure of Plácido.

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