This article examines the culturally complex context of the 1980s in Cuba through the little-known figure of the frikis, an underground culture linked to rock and metal music that flourished at a time of growing discontent with the country’s political regime. The revolutionary government marginalized frikis because of their interest in Anglo-American culture and because their social and aesthetic practices did not align with their vision of the ideal revolutionary citizen. Frikis were officially considered social parasites, hedonistic and indifferent in their attitude towards mainstream society, but their behavior and practices were, more than just parasitic or careless, rather thoughtful choices. They built their scene as a social alternative to the establishment that would allow them to express socio-political and cultural interests different from those stipulated by the government, and their rise in the 1980s can be seen as an early manifestation of the post-socialist subjectivities that would develop after the Soviet Bloc collapsed. Through the analysis of ethnographic interviews and short stories, this article explores the creative strategies frikis used to build a shared identity, protest, and survive in the face of State repression, becoming socio-cultural antecedents for other underground cultures, such as punk, which would flourish in a post-Soviet context.

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