Several weeks after having gone back to my English course and begun new routines, like attending a School for Workers and Farmers (Facultad Obrero Campesina, or FOC) – the only option available to me right now, if I want to complete the 12th grade.
Kabir Vega’s Diary
In order to travel from Alamar to Vedado and attend my English class, I am forced to go through a diabolical daily routine I have already given a name to: “the battle over the P-11 bus.” You have to see it to believe it.
Largely by personal experiences and also understanding on how the small world of Cuba works, seeing teenagers in uniforms gives me a mixture of shock and sadness. Let me tell you why…
For some weeks now, we’ve been watching an Internet video series called Hola, Soy German (“Hi, My Name is German”) rather religiously at home. The star is a young Chilean who uploads videos to the Internet every week.
Though I do not have access to the Internet and I am unaware of what ratings say about the interests of the general public, in Cuba I am always exchanging all kinds of information with friends and, without having to go too far, have been able to see that violence is a common denominator in people’s actions.
When I look back at how I felt in the classroom when I first started my English course, the changes I’ve experienced seem incredible to me. At the time, I would see so many people with touchscreen phones that I was embarrassed to pull out my MP3 player, for even something as insignificant as this is a status symbol.
I am citizen number 96111609987 – a non-organ donor, male. This is some of the information used to classify me, in much the same way a lifeless product is categorized. I’ve hated IDs ever since I turned 16. Before that, I used to go out without a care in the world.
The more realistic and brutal the violence in a videogame, the more that videogame sells. Combats ceased to be based on respect, as the martial arts or codes of chivalry teach, many years ago. Battles ceased to be between “good and evil” long ago.
Though Japanese animation is officially referred to as “anime”, most people in Cuba call it “manga” (which is actually the Japanese word for “comic strip”). Manga animated films are a huge hit among young Cubans. (8 photos)
I am rather disappointed with Cuban cinema in general but, after hearing many positive comments about Daranas’ new film Conducta (“Conduct”), I managed to overcome my misgivings and went to see it. The movie had a promising beginning.