The author of several works published in Cuba and abroad, Miguel Angel Fraga sets out to capture the truth of a difficult and misunderstood era, the experiences of those who became Cuba’s first victims of the terrible HIV-AIDS epidemic. “I can say that it is thanks to HIV that I am a writer today,” he tells us during his interview for Havana Times.
Like a giant wrestling with the strong winds of a sea-storm, the Riomar building rises next to Havana’s urban coastline, in the residential neighborhood of Miramar. Built in the 1950s, it is currently inhabited by only 14 Cuban families. Elsa Torres Camacho is one of its residents.
Maikel Castillo, known as DKNO (“The Dean”) in the Cuban rap scene, tells us about his interest in the rap genre and about the “consequences of telling the truth without mincing one’s words.” He said he sings about social issues, for the most part, problems around the world.
Art has always reflected the most distinctive characteristics of the historical period in which it has been produced. Portraits, landscapes, sea vistas, figurative and abstract pieces: all have invariably sought to capture their times through different styles. My interviewee, painter and tattoo artist Jose Rene Blanco Salermo, paints canvases and human bodies. A dreamer, he also paints souls.
Calle 13, one of Latin America’s most popular bands, released a new song this week featuring an unlikely collaborator — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The song, “Multi_Viral,” also features Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and the Palestinian singer Kamilya Jubran. To create the lyrics, Calle 13 lead singer and songwriter René Pérez asked followers on Twitter to express their social justice concerns in a live brainstorming session with Assange. This is not the first time Calle 13 has made headlines for its political work.
Scene design is an art of visual perception in which the individual creates and recreates natural or fantastic worlds. It makes use of different techniques that allow feelings, emotions and ideas to be expressed, using drawing as a fundamental basis. I’ll be talking about this topic with the scene designer and creator Eduardo Gaspar Guasch Estuí.
A stylist is a professional who acts as a beauty consultant, providing clients with advice on the basis of the fashions and trends of the moment. Ruben Alejandro Collantes, whom we interview today, is such a professional in Santiago de Cuba.
In the 90s, one of the places I frequented to escape from the long power cuts common at the time was La Piragua (near Havana’s ocean drive), where break dancers from different parts of the city performed. There, one felt a wave of joy and physical energy which colored the somewhat somber landscape, young people who escaped poverty, delinquency, prostitution and even worse tragedies through the mystery of bodily movement.
In a Democracy Now! exclusive, the only freed member of the Cuban Five, René González, speaks out after a 13-year imprisonment in the United States. The five Cuban intelligence agents were arrested in the United States in 1998 and convicted of espionage. We include the interview with former parliament chair Ricardo Alarcon.
More than a violinist, William Roblejo is a one-man-show. Having given his violin a unique personality, he performs with a distinctive seal that has earned him a place among the top in Cuba’s music scene. “I’ve tried to do something different with my violin,” he told Havana Times.