(E)motion of Saudade: The Embodiment of Solidarity in the Cuban Medical Cooperation in Mozambique

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(E)motion of Saudade: The Embodiment of Solidarity in the Cuban Medical Cooperation in Mozambique

Type: Master thesis
Title: (E)motion of Saudade: The Embodiment of Solidarity in the Cuban Medical Cooperation in Mozambique
Author: Ocadiz Arriaga, Miriam
Issue Date: 2017-09-29
Abstract: This thesis focuses on current Cuban medical cooperation in Mozambique. It begins by placing this form of cooperation within the emergent field of South-South relations, whereby two nations from the Global South maintain an autonomous link throughout the decades. The socialist island of Cuba has long been regarded as a world leader in health, one that, in place of sending substantial revenues, delivers human resources. Its main tactic has been to place Cuban professionals at a grassroots level, in order to work within the local healthcare system. This has been the case in Mozambique, a nation with a healthcare system often described as fragmented and heavily dependent on foreign aid, and in this sense Cuba may represent a more horizontal alternative. From a macro perspective this is an interesting topic within international relations, one that adds various perspectives to the field of medical aid worldwide. However, this paper suggests a further analysis of the different layers within this phenomenon. Beyond merely being a governmental agreement, this is a particular Transatlantic route where women and men move between continents, facing tangible and intangible borders in order to collaborate within the medical field. Under these circumstances, individuals must cope with new environments, re-establishing their lives in other societies, thus modifying their lives and those of their communities. Behind such dynamics, solidarity stands as a remarkable principle to sustain the historical and contemporary mobilization of people in the Global South. Using an ethnographic perspective based on life stories collected throughout six months of fieldwork, this thesis unwraps the multiple layers that go into constructing this phenomenon in order to understand how solidarity is embodied in the daily lives of Cubans and Mozambicans. The aim is to present the “human face” of contemporary South-South mobility, especially in the field of health and medicine, in order to highlight how political discourses on solidarity are deconstructed to be personally internalized within this intercultural encounter.
Supervisor: Kaag, Mayke
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: African Studies (Master thesis)
Specialisation: African Studies
ECTS Credits: 25
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/54387

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