Periclean Scholars shooting documentary films in Cuba during Winter Term

Follow along with these students on social media as they learn more about the history, culture and perspectives that exist on the Caribbean island.

This is part of a series of articles highlighting Elon students as they gain experience studying abroad during Winter Term. Stay tuned for more posts featuring the experiences of Elon students in their own words.

Members of the 2020 cohort of Periclean Scholars are spending time in Cuba this Winter Term developing documentaries that reflect “the many faces” of the people from the Caribbean island. The goal is to create videos that challenge the common perceptions or stereotypes people have about Cuba and Cubans by telling their stories in their own words.

The project is titled “Sin Embargo,” which along with meaning “without the embargo” also means “however,” with the students seeking to develop a deeper understanding of the diverse histories and needs of Cubans. The students are spending time in a variety of venues with a broad range of groups during their time in Cuba while gathering content that will be showcased through short films premiered in Elon’s Turner Theatre this spring.

“We will be visiting multiple cities, taking a walking tour of Havana, and learning about everything from sustainable agriculture to herbal medicine,” said April Post, assistant director of Project Pericles at Elon and senior lecturer in Spanish.

Students are selected as Periclean Scholars during their first year at Elon. The program is the centerpiece of Project Pericles, which is committed to raising the level of civic engagement and social responsibility of the entire university community. Students inducted into the Periclean Scholars program take a series of academic courses culminating in a class project of global social change. The project is designed and carried out by the cohort of students from each year’s class under the direction of their faculty mentor.

Andrew Textoris ’20 is among the Periclean Scholars who arrived in Cuba on Jan. 4 for the nine-day program based out of Havana. “This is our cohort’s chance to finally travel to the country we have been doing research on for the last two-and-a-half years,” Textoris said.

The project is part of the cohort’s core capstone, and Textoris said he’s most interested in meeting new people and experiencing a country that few have the opportunity to see. “We seek to tell stories of Cuban and Cuban Americans, to provide perspectives on their lives and to bring a new narrative back to the U.S.,” Textoris said.

Textoris is serving as the group’s reporter during their time in Cuba, and will be posting to the project’s Facebook page — https://www.facebook.com/themanyfacesofcuba/.

Elon’s social media channels will also be featuring guest posts by Textoris from his time in Cuba. Look for the #elonglobal hashtag to view a wide range of Elon students, faculty and staff participating in global engagement programs and experiences.