Political Prisoners of the Empire  MIAMI 5     



Havana.  October 16, 2014

The Value of Women’s Creativity

Maya Quiroga

A tribute to creations by women and to the value of their creativity is the main focus of the second Ellas Crean Festival, Cuba 2014, taking place in several locations across Havana until October 18.

Pablo Platas, cultural attaché at the Spanish Embassy in Cuba, said that "the new features of this festival are the workshops addressed to women, where several Spanish women will share their experiences."

Among the workshops are: Restoration, conducted by Spanish specialist Johina García-Concheso; Gender and Society, coordinated by the project Circuito Líquido; and a baking workshop, for female cooks and led by Spanish chef Eva Arguiñano, who has imposed her talent in a world ruled by men.

The workshop on the Drafting of Business Plans for Enterprising Women has created great expectations among Cuban women for its importance in the context of the country’s current socio-cultural context, characterized by self-employment – a modality that contributes to the family and national economy.

Renowned professor Danae Diéguez, a member of the Gender and Culture group at the National Association of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC) will coordinate the workshop "Gender and Creation: For a non-sexist culture."

Spanish specialists Anatxu Zabalbeascoa and Inés Sánchez, will present a different point of view when they talk about Architecture and Urbanism as a concept of gender.

The Seventh Art

The documentary La hora dorada, (The Golden Hour) - the first work by filmmaker Ingrid León Vila - will be shown as an introduction to the Festival. The theme of this documentary is related to the meaning of survival. It provides the testimony of Cuban women who have survived despite having suffered painful experiences, such as the death of their loved ones, imprisonment and discrimination.

As Lizette Vila commented, "this documentary is an example of how art can become a way of group and collective conscience."

Among the faces that can be seen on the screen are actress Diana Rosa Suárez; professional athlete Ana Fidelia Quirot; poet Lina de Feria; a transsexual woman; a Cuban Muslim woman; and a young graduate in journalism.

According to director of the Cuban Film Archives, Luciano Castillo, the second Ellas Crean Festival, will be the appropriate framework to exhibit, at the Riviera theatre, the most important retrospective on women’s creation conducted by the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC).

The Festival includes 43 films produced by 35 filmmakers either from the International Film and Television School in San Antonio de los Baños or other independent companies. Thanks to the work of curator Danae Diéguez, the audience will be able to enjoy Rumba en televisión (1950), the first film in which a female filmmaker appears in the credits. Las ventanas, (The Windows) a short fiction film by Maryulis Alfonso, will also be shown.

This exhibit, in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the death of director Sara Gómez, will show the documentary Dónde estás, Sara Gómez, (Where Are You Sara Gómez) by Alessandra Müller. This work is a recollection of the imprint left by the director of the feature film De cierta manera (A Certain Way).

Saying ‘No’ to gender violence in the music industry

A concert by Zule Guerra and Blues de Habana is scheduled for October 15 at the Museum of Fine Arts´ (MNBA) theatre. Zule is one of the female voices of Cuban jazz that has joined the fight against gender violence.

"Until now, I have played at jazz clubs and festivals. This will be my first official concert in a theater. I want to dedicate it to the presence of women in jazz, a genre that is generally played by men. There are few jazzwomen in Cuba.

"In this concert, my special guests will be those people who have supported me throughout my career as a jazzwoman, including Bobby Carcassés; Yasek Manzano and Alexei (El tipo este – That Guy), leader of the Cuban hip hop duo Obsesión," added Zule, who won the Jojazz 2013 award.

Zule, who is also a composer, announced that during the concert she will play original works or popularized by other female artists, such as Marta Valdés, Elena Burke, Elis Regina, Rosa Passos and Billie Holiday.

Visual arts with women’s´ faces

The exhibit Variaciones contempladas en silencio (Silent Contemplated Variations), by curator Aylet Ojeda, will be inaugurated at the Cuban Art building of the MNBA. This exhibit includes the work of five female Cuban visual artists: Glenda León, Susana Pilar Delante, Grethell Rasúa, Yaima Carranza and Analía Amaya.

"These five pieces are not related to gender, but strong senses are needed to enjoy them. An example of this is ‘Contemplando las estrellas’ (Contemplating the Stars), a music box that reproduces a stave score. Glenda León presented this work at the Venice Biennial.

"Susana Pilar’s work is entitled ‘Tiempo de espera’ (Waiting Time), while Yaima’s work is related to the colors of the cosmetics company OPI. Grethell´s work is a performance, and Analía’s, a video entitled Horizonte’," added Ojeda.

Theater in style

On Thursday, October 16, at 7:00pm, the monologue Remolino en las aguas (Swirling in the Water), will be shown again at the Bertolt Brecht Theater. In this work, by Gerardo Fulleda León, 2014 National Theatre Award winner, actress Leidis Díaz plays the role of La Lupe. As the young actress of the Mephisto Teatro Company commented, "she is all passion; all love…an example of a woman who really liked to create, to make things."

No doubt, one of the main attractions of the Festival will be the premiere of the monologue Una rosa para Catalina Lasa, written by actress and playwright Rosa Ileana Boudet for her daughter Broselianda Hernández. This work will be performed at the Adolfo Llauradó Theater on Friday, October 17, at 7:00pm.

The closing of the Ellas Crean Festival will be the other high point of the event. Starring Laura de la Uz and other invited actresses, the Ellas Crean Reality Show will be perforemd at the Mella Theater on Saturday 18, at 8:30pm. Margarita de la Uz, mother of the versatile actress, will act for the first time.

"In this solo performance I want to show the dilemma between the everyday life of a Cuban woman and her work as a creator. I want to bring back reawaken the music of the 1970s, and to pay tribute to the Cuban women who have been a source of inspiration to Cuban music.

"There is a surprise part of the show. It is an idea I have had for many years, and will be directed by Raúl Martín (Teatro de La Luna)," said the star of La película de Ana (Ana’s Film).

This reality show will include video recordings of Laura’s everyday life, which could be the life of any Cuban woman and mother. There are even live improvisations, songs. This is a unique opportunity to enjoy a multifaceted and diverse festival with a special emphasis on the best of women’s creativity. (Cuba Si)

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