Electric Santería: Racial and Sexual Assemblages of by Aisha Beliso-De Jesús

By Aisha Beliso-De Jesús

Santería is an African-inspired, Cuban diaspora faith lengthy stigmatized as witchcraft and infrequently brushed off as superstition, but its spirit- and possession-based practices are quickly successful adherents internationally. Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús introduces the time period "copresence" to trap the present transnational event of Santería, during which racialized and gendered spirits, deities, clergymen, and non secular tourists remake neighborhood, nationwide, and political limitations and reconfigure notions of expertise and transnationalism.

Drawing on 8 years of ethnographic learn in Havana and Matanzas, Cuba, and in ny urban, Miami, la, and the San Francisco Bay zone, Beliso-De Jesús strains the phenomenon of copresence within the lives of Santería practitioners, mapping its emergence in transnational areas and historic moments and its ritual negotiation of race, imperialism, gender, sexuality, and spiritual trip. Santería's spirits, deities, and practitioners let electronic applied sciences for use in new methods, inciting special encounters via video and different media. getting rid of conventional perceptions of Santería as a static, localized perform or as a part of a mythologized "past," this booklet emphasizes the religion's dynamic circulations and demands nontranscendental understandings of non secular transnationalisms.

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Archipelagos themselves, it should be emphasized are the image of the rhizome—fractured, reaching outward” (Mitsch 1997, 56). ” This webbed international network of black intellectual unity anchored in a critique of modernity, he suggests, stems from continued proximity to the terrors of the slave experience and was nurtured by a deep sense of complicity with racial terror (Gilroy 1993, 73). ” Like Kevin Yelvington, Matory (2012, 109) offers the “black Atlantic dialogue” as a metaphor that places traditions into larger transoceanic contexts.

Foreigners and blacks were described during field research as emitting foul bodily odors. On the other hand, white foreign women were described of as having a pleasant aroma due to their access to quality products not available on the island. I was told how particular goods and ritual items were imbued with the essence of Americaness, while Cuban women were celebrated nationally as being sweet like strawberries and chocolate, referencing the foreign consumption of racialized and sexualized bodies within global tourist markets (Allen 2011; Gregory 2007; Roland 2011, 2013).

An artificial distance continues to be written into our understandings of culture, religion, and politics (Asad 2003). No matter how far we seemingly perceive ourselves to have come, there is a continued preoccupation with reductionist binary or dichotomous thinking—modernity and traditions, religion and secularism, the West and the Rest, the natives and the anthropologist—that infi ltrates our scholarly perceptions (Asad 2003). Indeed, African and African diaspora spiritualities have for the most part continued to be examined through theories of transcendence and notions of mediation (Engelke 2010; van de Port 2011b).

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