The issue addressed by La tercera raiz (“The Third Root”), which tackles the impact that African traditions have had on Mexican culture, was something I knew nothing about. The two other roots, the indigenous and Spanish ones, were rather familiar notions for me.
Yanelys Nuñez’s Diary
The hectic days of Havana’s Arts Biennale are behind us and a deep silence has taken hold of the Cuban art world. To mitigate this silence, some artists have decided to stage personal exhibitions.
“It’s pink, and it’s heading your way.” That is how a friend described the experience of seeing Miss Biennial, a voluptuous “Tropicana dancer” that visited many of the exhibition spaces of the recently concluded 12th Havana Biennial, for the first time.
The play on words of the title was the first thing that caught my eye. “Disambiguation” is a term I come across time and time again while navigating my “domestic Internet” connection, the Wiki Taxi, and I don’t entirely understand its meaning.
We don’t know if they welcomed him at the airport with the traditional Guantanamera, if a Ministry of Culture official escorted him to his hotel…we don’t know anything. All we know for sure is that renowned artist Matthew Barney was – or is – in Cuba.
The stage is covered entirely with a white fabric. A naked woman is stretched out across it, posing like the Venus with the Mirror. Several objects – a stills camera, dresses, chairs, rain coats, instruction manuals and others – lie scattered on the floor about her.
I don’t know who put my name on a list to receive event notifications via cell phone, but for a while now I’ve been receiving news this way of different events being held in the city. I had received at least three messages about a Conga line to be held on Saturday, May 9th.
Cuban history is plagued with notable mysteries. What we are fed at school is a superficial and triumphalist narrative full of exaggerated ambivalence, where heroes are exceedingly good and evil men the worst you could imagine.
Enlivened with the songs of Silvio Rodríguez, the Moncada band and other musicians, now typical at this type of event, the tribute brought together a large crowd of curious spectators, underground veterans from the ‘50s, student leaders, local neighbors etc.
During a hearty, after-meal chat around a table laden with the remains of foul-smelling pizzas and enlivened by boisterous laughter, a friend of ours jokingly “lamented” the little attention and affection shown him by Cuba’s DTI (intelligence department).