Guamá's cyber-humor in exile: Aboriginal-Afrocuban identity and politically incorrect translationese working for another Cuba



Translationese, Guamá, Alen Lauzán Falcón, Taíno, Afro-Cuban identity, Critical thinking, Cuba


Guamá is a graphic humor online publication and an outstanding Cuban cultural phenomenon in exile. It’s creator, Alen Lauzán Falcón, was born in Cuba in 1974, and before he managed to escape the Castros' island, he had already had a successful career in the field of graphic humor. What followed was astonishing for the whole Cuban Diaspora. Upon his arrival in Chile, where he remained, working for and inspired by the graphic humour style of The Clinic, a popular Chilean humoristic publication, he created his own online journal, adopting the name of the most known Cuban aboriginal fighter against Spanish conquistadors. Through incisive and constant “politically incorrect” humour Lauzán Falcón have been ridiculing the majority of the Castroist publications through spicy comments and upturned Cuban propaganda slogans. This became a kind of creative ‘translationese’. His efforts are significantly contributing to criticizing and redirecting the meaning of Castroist ideological indoctrination concepts – efforts enriched with a strong flavour of Cuban Aboriginal (Taíno) and Afro-Cuban humour. Lauzán Falcón aimed to show a critical perspective on Cuban affairs for Cubans, and for anyone else who can feel and understand the Cuban situation and show solidarity with the difficulties of the people living under the longest-running extreme-left-wing regime in Latin America. 

In this article, I will first analyze the ‘translationese’ phenomenon from a Complexity point of view, meaning, historically and culturally rebinding of the Cuban study case to the historical antecedents of ‘translationese’. Second, I will analyze ten graphic Guamá ‘front pages’ (satiric imitations of Castroist publications), published by Lauzán Falcón between 2008 and 2014 in his eponymous blog, starting with the main banner of Guamá itself. Third, I will operate a complex rebinding of the results demonstrating that the same spirit of creative resistance that the Taíno and African slaves showed in Cuba during more than five centuries, is still in action today in Cubans’ efforts to deal with the consequences of a long-lasting extreme-left-wing regime.  A selected glossary of Guama’s Afro-Cuban words and expressions analyzed here will appear at the end of the article.


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How to Cite

Guamá’s cyber-humor in exile: Aboriginal-Afrocuban identity and politically incorrect translationese working for another Cuba. (2021). Journal for Translation Studies in Africa, (2), 1–27.