Jon Curry-Machado is a writer, historical researcher, and performer who has worked closely with Cuba since the 1990s in projects ranging from the visual arts and film making, to poetry and performance. His research has focused on the history of sugar, its technologies, peoples, and environments. Curry-Machado leads the audio-visual strategy of the Commodities of Empire British Academy Research Project, based at the University of London, as well as founder member of the Commodity Frontiers Initiative, Associate Fellow at the Institute for Latin American Studies (School of Advanced Study, University of London), and the Institute of the Americas (University College London). He recently produced the documentary Cuba: Living Between Hurricanes (2019).
In this short essay, historian Jon Curry-Machado explores what might be gained by opening our ears to the sounds of Cuban sugar plantations.