Thursday, October 21, 2021
Group exhibition embraces art

Group exhibition embraces art

Creators from the Saíz Brothers Association (AHS) and...

El patio de mi casa: Cienfuegos' song to Cuban culture

El patio de mi casa: Cienfuegos' song to Cuban culture

Music returned this Wednesday to the big stages of...

"Los Elementos", National Prize for Community Culture 2021: Filled with Pleasure

The National Community Culture Award 2021, granted by...

  • Group exhibition embraces art

    Group exhibition embraces art

  • El patio de mi casa: Cienfuegos' song to Cuban culture

    El patio de mi casa: Cienfuegos' song to Cuban...

  • "Los Elementos", National Prize for Community...


Vampires and mambises meet today in Madrid

Vampires and mambises meet today in Madrid

Big words, the Spanish Film Academy pays tribute to Juan Padrón and does it in a big way today with an announcement: Elpidio Valdés and Los Vampiros en La Habana again in Madrid.

Chapeau' Juan Padrón, as it would be said in French, to sum up the tributes that Spain has offered this year to the author of the most emblematic cartoon characters in Cuba.

Again with the presence of his daughter Silvia, who inspired the character of Maria Silvia, the companion of the intrepid mambi Elpidio Valdes, Cuban actor Vladimir Cruz (Strawberry and Chocolate) and Jose Luis Farias, director of the Quirino Awards.

'I think it's going to be a very special night,' Silvia Padrón confessed excitedly to Prensa Latina.

It has all the attributes to, indeed, become a glamorous gala. The moderator of the colloquium following the screening will be Maite Ruiz de Austri, winner of two Goya Awards for two animated films.

Writer, screenwriter and director of film and television, specializing in programs for children and young people, Ruíz de Austri will be the starting point of the thread towards the late Cuban filmmaker and illustrator, who died last year.

The fact that the Film Academy recognizes him is very important and the figures who are going to participate, I think they will have a closer approach to his work', added Silvia Padrón in a brief exchange with Prensa Latina.

Elpidio Valdés meets Palmiche (1977), followed by the feature film Vampiros en la Habana (1985), will become excellent appetizers of the evening.

A little over a month ago, Padron was remembered in the Canary Islands as one of the best Cuban and Latin American cartoonists. It was in San Cristobal de Tenerife, at the Quirino Ibero-American Animation Awards, an event headed by Jose Luis Farias.

Juan Padron left a special legacy in phrases that are part of the popular heritage in the Caribbean island, both of the intrepid Mambi fighter against Spanish colonialism, as well as the witticisms related to his sui-generis vampires.

Taken from  5 de Septiembre

English version Hector Hdez.

On Cultural Policies and Economic Rights of Artists in Cienfuegos

On Cultural Policies and Economic Rights of Artists in Cienfuegos

Cuba has been immersed, for some years now, in a process of cultural identity, aimed at preserving our most autochthonous elements. With this purpose, a variety of programs and dispositions have arisen that affirm the conservation,  rehabilitation and promotion, in addition to the deep research of the most genuine cultural expressions.

It notoriously influences that the Cuban economy is immersed in a complex process of updating its economic model, corresponding to the dysfunctionality of a previous model decentralized in several aspects by the conditions given in the 90s of the last century. All this leads to the need to adopt new forms and mechanisms of conduction in this area. The current moment in which we live as a society is characterized by a hypertrophy in the protection of some subjects and relationships and a neglect in the theoretical development and practical implementation of others.

International agreements pretend that copyright legislations follow the same arguments of free trade. They want underdeveloped countries to see culture as a commercial sphere of investment.  It does not matter that native cultural practices are being extinguished. The care and protection of cultural heritage, the actions to rescue and safeguard the world's memory, are left aside, because trade debts are more important.

International normative instruments and national intellectual property legislation have nothing to do with the needs of artistic creators and society. They are designed according to the interests of those who are the right holders, i.e. the large publishing, music, audiovisual, software and so-called entertainment industries. An increasingly technologically interconnected world is becoming more and more private, and what technology might allow is closed off by intellectual property in the hands of corporate power.

The boundary that marks the limit in the exercise of these rights has been frankly displaced, and not to the advantage of those people in their condition as authors. The rights, "to take part freely in the cultural life of society have been dramatically limited, not because of other human rights but because of corporate rights. For this reason, the classification of copyright as a human right is today severely questioned. Although it pretends to present itself in this way in order to legitimize itself, the intellectual property of companies and corporations is not a human right, but an instrument for the monopolization of the circulation of works.

Today, enormous sums are paid in the world as retribution to a few famous artists who have created works of commercial acceptance, while the majority lack the minimum conditions to develop their creative potential. In the face of states with their hands tied, incapable of designing and promoting cultural policies, the market rises as the supreme, unappealable judge to establish hierarchies and decide what should be promoted and consumed among those who can pay the high prices of cultural goods and services.

The Cultural Policy in Cuba protects the creator and society against interests that mutilate and impoverish creation. Access to works cannot depend on the ability of citizens to pay - already limited in these times of crisis - nor should protection be based solely on the ability and possibility of generating income. The conceptualization of the Cuban economic model synthetically expresses the principles of our socialism, based on the dignity, equality and full freedom of the human being. Its greatest challenge lies in complementing planning mechanisms with market elements, in order to achieve the sustainability of the socialist project. The employers of local talent have shaped, with their commercial practices, a market that does not favor the development of contemporary Cuban popular and dance music, which goes against the country's cultural policy.

In the matter of Copyright, which is processed through the Cuban Agency of Musical Copyrights (ACDAM), Cienfuegos as a province has the Provincial Company for the Commercialization of Music and Shows Rafael Lay (EPCME) which plays a decisive role in the compliance of the laws that protect artists. However, its actions show a lack of control over the creation of artistic works, causing moral and economic damage to local authors. Regarding Musical Cultural Heritage, the city does not have a Museum of Music, so necessary for the conservation and protection of the musical, material and immaterial cultural heritage. There are a few museum pieces of the Conjunto Tradicional de Sones Los Naranjos and the Municipal Band in the provincial museum of the city as a deposit, which are still not declared as cultural heritage, when truly, due to their tradition and historical importance for music, they should be.

Cienfuegos has a vast artistic potential affected by the scarce spaces for the interpretation of contemporary and danceable popular music. These markets are increasingly reduced, because the management and programming by the artistic enterprise is insufficient, causing that the masses, especially the new generations, do not receive, visualize, or enjoy our musical identity as they deserve. The basic right of the creator to be paid, in time and form for the work done, is not respected. By not implementing a policy of hierarchization of talent, they allow the salary of the artistic vanguard and of some first level groups to be disproportionate and below, or at the same level, of projects that are not of artistic excellence.

Unfortunately, the function performed by this institution (EPCME) that governs and represents music in the territory, has been quite limited, being a prioritized task to apply to the artist the percentage of discount for each presentation (which he himself has to manage), without granting him the necessary resources and promotion for the presentation of his work. There is still a lot of work to be done and a long way to go. The protection of our art and autochthonous artists should be a fundamental objective in the institutional work so that the musical panorama of Cienfuegos remains alive and continues to represent us in any latitude of the world.

English version Hector Hdez

Cintio and Fina, in the mysterious world of poetry

Cintio and Fina, in the mysterious world of poetry

Now, that we are celebrating the centenary of one of our solid cultural heritage columns, I clearly recall that December 22 -Educator's Day- in 2004, when I received the Uneac Award, because among so many illustrious personalities, Fernando Alonso for example, there were also Cintio and Fina in the front row at the award ceremony, whom I greeted with a certain mysticism.

I remember that they congratulated me in a very low voice as if José María had run with solemn gentleness, his fingers over the piano keyboard. The impression was very strong because one does not always have the joy of squeezing the hands of those ,who have filled the land of their birth with poetry.

I have admired with the same affection and vehemence both the one and the other. Cuba has engendered, like few countries in the world, a range of poets, enough to live another millennium; divine grace of a nation blessed by two seas and by the transmutation of civilizations that saves us from any cleft.

Of Cintio, his lyrical work, encompassing and promoted to infinity; his narrations that show us a tireless creator; his essays, expression of an organic intellectual, committed to the cultural heritage of an avant-garde country; his critical editions admirable for the evidence of a fabulous erudition, capable of converting into golden letter everything that with his prodigious hands of an artist of the word he brushed. It is necessary to approach everything he built with his proverbial intelligence and with the indispensable collaboration of his other part, the teamwork with his wife Fina García-Marruz, both Martians to the core, who unraveled for us a Martí where the mystery of his genius and his ethics continues to illuminate the path that we should not lose.

Everything about Cintio seems to me unfathomable, unfathomable at times in his poetry, because as the Spanish lawyer, writer, literary critic, and essayist Ricardo Gullón said, we are before an ambitious lyric that seeks the substance, the essence of realities that are not enough to know externally; his style -Vitier himself said it- is "of penetration of the hidden reality". The signs that matter to such poetry do not become visible and it is necessary to capture them in a rumor, in a silence, in an oblivion, to reconstitute on its grace the building of clear dreams, naked shadows, secret presences.

But where I best discovered the man, become a formidable husband and lover, was in this text capable of awakening a range of feelings that transcends the common man, To my wife ..... Too much love, too much intimacy, too much man desiring his wife, lost in that "shrewd dust" of her "nocturnal hair". A love that time could not demolish, because it was cemented like those fibers of the powerful bamboo canes, which withstand all the storms, all the violence of the years and eternally rises above the forces that only pain and the resigned passage of time offer to the honest and virile man.

Cintio decides, at the precise moment that his love has matured because "they were secretly engendering it in our heart", to make her a love song, a tribute to that feeling that an emerald, already polished by the vicissitudes of life, has given him as a whole woman: I love you, the same / in today as in eternity, / in the body as in the soul, / and in the soul of the body,/ and in the body of the soul,/ the same in pain / as in bliss,/ forever.

Thank you, Cintio, for your infinite love for humanity and for this Cuba, to which you gave yourself in body and spirit. You, like the Apostle you loved so much, are already part of that sun of the moral world, whose sparkles give us a bath of light.

English version Hector Hdez.

Cultural Guide


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