Art has taken over the Cuban capital for the next month with the opening on Friday of the 12th Havana Biennial. Expositions, street art, performances and much more can be seen at numerous locations through June 22. HT was at some of the inaugurations. (27 photos)
As part of a phenomenon that extends beyond the political and touches other areas of society, the sports sector reacted quickly and US professional clubs began to express their interest in hiring Cuban baseball players only hours after that historical announcement.
Negotiations between Cuba and the United States are making it clear that the financial embargo on the island was also a blockade that placed restrictions on Havana’s relations with other countries around the world and international organizations. The avalanche of offers of business, credits, investments and partnerships, and the number of politicians and entrepreneurs who have visited the island after December 17 last year, demonstrate that many had not approached Cuba before fearing reprisals from Washington.
Richard Abril has just returned from the United States. When I contacted him for this interview, the first and only question on my mind was whether he was actually thinking about quitting boxing to raise pigs on his farm on the Isla de la Juventud?
Namibia Flores returned to the United States some days ago after attending the screening of a documentary about her life, which glosses over a young woman’s frustration over being denied the opportunity to represent her country, Cuba, as women’s boxing remains without recognition by the island’s sports institute.
They named him Kenny, after the South Park character. He lives somewhere in Havana, where he’s been forced to grow up ahead of time. His mother, who worked at a private cafe, had to quit her job to raise his five brothers, as the grandmother couldn’t bear the burden all alone any longer.
Patricio, retired and left with only 143 pesos (around 7 USD) of his pension after paying for his Haier-brand fridge every month, wants financial aid. He wants a TV where he can “watch the news,” he says. “In all of my years of work, I’ve never once asked for any help from the government. If I ask for it now, it’s because I need it.”
Havana’s tomb raiders of old have today met their match. His name is Pancho. He doesn’t look for treasures in the world of the dead. He does so in the dark tunnels where the city’s shit ends up: the sewers.
On May 22, the sleepy town of Casablanca will be shaken awake by the start of the 12th Havana Arts Biennale, Cuba’s most important contemporary art gathering. For a month, it will cease to be a silent, culturally derelict town & become a meeting place for visual artists from around the world. We will see performances, interventions and public art installations.
Yomer Fidel Montejo Harrys was born in Camagüey in 1983. Coming face-to-face with this 31-year-old artist, we find ourselves with a young man with a watchful eye and a friendly smile. An artist who has travelled along a long road of search, discovery and exploration which goes far beyond the naivety that we had discerned at a first glance.