After 60 years, the Cuban political project continues to be a paradigm for a group within the global Left. Let’s take a simplified look at the milestones in this ambivalent love story of those who admire Cuba, but haven’t moved here just yet, preferring to defend the Revolution from Boston or Paris.
She moves her hips to the rhythm of the music. They sing along and clap. She laughs and shakes her body even more, making her miniskirt dance like a flower that moves about it the wind. The song ends and everyone shouts Bravo!, because “it’s funny” to see her dance like this, with her lips painted red and a bun up high on her head, just like the one her mother has. The exotic dancer is only three years old.
Cuban avant-garde art, and whatever resembles this, is experiencing a new moment of glory. Not only has artistic creation become more diverse, but production has multiplied thousand-fold, by the many thousands that collectors, and those who appear to be collectors, are paying for it.
The Revolution had entered this impasse that even couples experience after their initial lust, rumbling around on sofas and beds. It was facing dilemmas about which path to take to leave this Utopian island behind and to concentrate on the harsh differences that reality posed.
There’s no doubt that Cuba’s Arts Education system is a global reference. Since January 1959, the arts and literature were put in everyone’s reach as part of the Revolution’s new cultural policy and society’s poorest classes had the opportunity, for the first time ever, to see their dreams of becoming artists, dancers, musicians, painters, architects or filmmakers come true.
Ileana the Painter moves with the force of a torrent and irradiates the joy of a little girl. She confesses that she has always been “different” and challenging implacable society hasn’t been the greatest challenge in her life. She paints, she cooks, she lives with contagious and authentic freedom. With an unstoppable flair for improvising. (14 photos)
People still talk about Luanda Perez Hernandez (56 years old), a woman who decided to fight for her happiness in spite of the prejudice a machista and homophobic generation hold. Working in a Catholic church was her refuge during her marriage. She lives in a small town in the Artemisa province.
Marialys father waited in a maximum security prison for 18 months to then finally have his trial and receive his sentence. When that happened, Marialys was only a 13-14 year old girl and she jealously kept the letters her father sent from jail.
During the current Cuban electoral process, 650 dissidents and opponents attempted to become district representative candidates, exercising their due right as recognized in the Constitution and Electoral Law, as Cuban citizens. None of them were successful.
In Sutiava, a suburb of Leon, a family of “gigantona makers” have held on to the tradition of these giant puppets for decades, although in some periods of history it’s been menaced. Wilfredo Arostegui works with rigorous historical accuracy. He notes that to make the body of a gigantona, he consulted magazines and articles from the era.
Over recent decades a number of talented Cuban dancers have made new homes in various European cities and, thanks to their efforts, along with those of a large number of dedicated European enthusiasts, a fertile Cuban dance scene has blossomed from Madrid to Moscow, Scandinavia to Sicily.
The year 2017 is drawing to an end with its almost paralyzed “reform process” and the economy hasn’t changed in the way the Communist Party Guidelines proposed, which the government itself had put forward and had been ratified by millions of Cubans at assemblies.
In March 2015, Alioth Guerrero received a grant to attend a congress in Colombia. While there, he found out about the opportunities that other Latin American countries offer those who want to study doctorate degrees. When he came back to Cuba, he mentioned it to his professors and began to think about the idea more seriously.