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Straight From the Underground: Freedom and Street Art in Havana

Photo credit: Amberly Alene EllisSplashes of color stand out against Havana’s aging buildings and Spanish architecture. The walls of parks, school playgrounds, abandoned buildings and alleyways are filling with the work of street artists. They leave behind only the coded signatures of their names. The presence of this modernity in a seemingly time locked country speaks to the challenges and the creativity of Cuban youth. Street art is somewhat of  a new phenomenon in Havana. Spaces that were once nothing, are now filling up with the work of young people dedicated to bringing art to their city. The risks are high for street artists, as they are not often commissioned for their work and can face trouble for painting without permission. I’ve always wondered of the audacity of these artists, and their bravery to share their work so boldly to the world.Read more...

Nuestra Cuba: Women, Filmmaking and Equality

Young girls in Regla, HavanaAfter the Cuban revolution of 1959, cinema would become a major component in the socio-political revolution of the Cuban consciousness. Some filmmakers would experience a rise to fame, while the names of other filmmakers were almost forgotten in the public memory.  In March, as a graduate MFA candidate in the American University School of Communication, I embarked on the filming of Nuestra Cuba (Our Cuba), a documentary that follows the untold stories of the Institute of Cuban Cinematographic Art and Industry’s (ICIAC) first women and Afro-Cuban filmmakers: Sara Gomez and Gloria Rolando.  Read more...