Her father is a white Spaniard, her mother a black African. She is a mulatta, and just as her mother was dominated by the carnal powers of her white father, she is dominated by the images that ridicule her purpose and existence.
The lecture, “Mulatta Images and National Identity in Cuba,” presented by Spanish professor and feminist Madeline Camara, as part of the continuing lecture series sponsored by the Latin American and Caribbean Studies department (LACS), dealt with the subject of mulattas in Cuba and the effects that image has had on the national identity of Cuba.
“The use of image is important,” she said. “I hope to put the images that have been represented in a new light.”
After five years of research Camara “intends to complete a book that will show how racism and sexism are rooted in the representations of mulatta women in the Cuban culture from colonial times to present day.”
The plight of the mulatta woman is one of physical, emotional and spiritual suppression. Oppressed by the country and community, she is unable to express her sensuality due to the fact that her identity has been subjected to the belief that mulatta women use their bodies as a means to attain economic gratification. A Mulatta woman also finds it hard to attain identity because of rejection by her father and cannot associate with the values of her mother because the rules that govern patriarchal societies claim that women and daughters must follow the “law of the father.”
“The mulatta are the most manipulated women. As a feminist and a Cuban I have a double opportunity to be in contact with my culture. The history of the mulatta will aid the future of Cuba. This is my contribution to that future,” Camara said.