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With the onset of the HIV epidemic, to prevent transmission, the Cuban government aggressively tested its sexually active population, sending infected people to live in quarantined sanitariums. It is in these establishments, in which an HIV-ridden Sarduy sets his last novel, entitled Pájaros de la playa (1993). Even as the reader witnesses the degradation and disintegration of sickened bodies, which the Nation rejected and discarded, Sarduy provides gender and sexual dissidents with a vision of themselves that does not compromise their queerness when confronting institutions of power. Instead, through subversion, appropriation and solidarity, he enacts a creative exploration of existence and presents the possibility for reinvention.


Please be aware that this presentation is accompanied by a piece of writing which you can find in LL Journal (

Please be aware that this presentation contains quotes from Severo Sarduy's Pájaros de la playa (1993).