The White Gaze

Cuban Deportees in Fernando Poo during the 19th Century

  • Iñaki Tofiño Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Keywords: Cuban independentists, Fernando Poo, Spanish colonialism, Deportation narrations, Colonial gaze


During the second half of the 19th century, several Cuban independentists were deported to Fernando Poo, an island in the Gulf of Guinea. Some memoirs describing their travel and their stay on the island were published later on, in New York and Havana. Although they have been read as historical sources about Cuban independence, as sociolinguistic sources for Spanish language in Equatorial Guinea or as ethnographic sources about Cuban influence in local Guinean dances, the article considers that they are an expression of a colonial gaze by colonial subjects. Cubans independentists saw local Africans as savages who were in need of civilization, applying on them the same colonial mindset they wanted to overcome in their homeland, therefore promoting Spanish colonialism in Africa.