By Nicole Walker
As the beauty of the Spanish language told a story about a woman’s experiences of domestic violence, I read the English words simultaneously on a projected screen. With feelings of curiosity, anger, sorrow and sympathy, listening to “Early Morning/Madrugada,” from Ophelias by Aida Bahr, with a group of like-minded people was a powerful experience.
There I was, sitting on a cushioned couch paying thorough attention to a public reading event that I, with the help of a fellow intern had implemented for Cubanabooks Press. As the event went on, I found myself deep in thought. I felt proud to have accomplished this event as I looked around at the people who had taken an afternoon off to come listen to this reading and I could see the emotions gathering in the eyes of listeners. This reading brought awareness of domestic violence, Cuban women experiences and told a story that entertained the audience.
As Dr. Sara Cooper read with passion and a sense of empowerment, I understood the reason why I was there. For three years of my college career prior to this internship with Cubanabooks, I had worked, hands on, in a feminist minded place, where my work as a feminist was quite
obvious. Interning for Cubanabooks was not so easily relatable to my work as a feminist, but my activism and passion was always there.
The mission of Cubanabooks is “…devoted to bringing first-class literature from Cuban women to a United States audience as well as to a global English and Spanish-speaking public. Publishi
ng select literary gems in English or in bilingual English/Spanish volumes, Cubanabooks aims to correct the current U.S. unavailability of excellent literature from Cubans living in Cuba…”
This mission allows for Cuban women to voice their experiences and publish them in their native language in addition to English in order to have their stories heard by a wide range of people. If that’s not feminism, I don’t know what is. Cubanabooks takes these experiences and gives them a place to be heard. After working with Cubanabooks and reading the stories from these women, I have come to the idea that feminism can be applied to everyday life in the most unexpected, subtle, yet completely empowering ways.