Tags: cuba, graduate, skateboards
Tags: Awesome Sauce Drool™, Be the sauce, Betty Esperanza4hire, Bloggers Wanted, Cheese melts, flaked out, Stick a fork in it
Children of Buena Vista participate in the first global day of play inspired by Caine’s Arcade and Imagination Foundation to foster creativity and entrepreneurship. Check for your city event at http://www.CainesArcade.com
Tags: clandestine, cuba, Havana, philanthropy, recycle, revolution, skateboards, surf
Skaters in Havana built their skate park with recycled materials. All the ramps are metal. Landing is brutal and noisy but the skaters practice taking risks which lead to injuries. The day we shot these photos, Yoan and Hernandez skated for 45 minutes in 40 celcius and fell hard a couple of times. Hernandez even cut his finger on the edge of the metal ramp. The motto shared by these courageous Cubans is “Patina o Muerte”. (Havana, Cuba, September 6, 2012 Photos by Betty Esperanza © 2012)
Tags: Andrés Cortina, Antonio Carmona, Francisco Gattorno, freedom, Fresa y Chocolate, friendship, Havana livre, historia de amistad, homosexuality, Joel Angelino, Jorge Perugorría, Juan Carlos Tabío, Marilyn Solaya, Mirta Ibarra, pelicula Cubana, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Vladimir Cruz
Diego, a cultivated, homosexual and skeptical young man, falls in love with a young heterosexual communist full of prejudices and doctrinary ideas. First come rejection and suspicion, but also fascination. Fresa y chocolate is the story of a great friendship, that is, a great love between two men, which overcomes incomprehension and intolerance. Written by
Diego, a cultivated, apolitical, sceptical young artist living in Havana initiates a friendship with fiercely communist homophobe David with the intention of seducing him. David, knowing this, allows the relationship to build so he can spy on a person he sees as aberrant and dangerous to the communist cause. Despite their conflicting sexualities and political ideologies the two slowly build a relationship out of their differences, proving that camaraderie and friendship can overcome the most divisive superficialities.
Director: Tomás Gutiérrez Alea y Juan Carlos Tabío .
Starring: Jorge Perugorría, Vladimir Cruz, Mirta Ibarra, Francisco Gattorno,Joel Angelino,Marilyn Solaya,Andrés Cortina,Antonio Carmona.
La Habana, 1993. Dos seres humanos buscan su verdadera identidad, David, estudiante de ciencias sociales en la universidad de La Habana, y Diego, un homoxesual obsesionado de la cultura. El encuentro entre ambos da lugar a un complejo mundo de relaciones interpersonales,entre las que se mezclan la amistad y la pasión,que llega a poner en grave riesgo la libertad de ambos.
Major media attention has been given to Cuba’s version of Hip Hop culture-a culture originally developed in the Bronx, New York in the late 1970′s as a vehicle of expression for disenfranchised youth. Serving the same purpose within the socialist Cuban society, Cuban Hip Hop is both defying numerous misconceptions anti-Castro propaganda has lead foreigners to believe about censorship in Cuba (via its highly critical lyrics), and also reaffirming certain limitations the Cuban society faces under Castro’s regime (i.e. the lack of commercial success for artists). International attention to Cuban Hip Hop grew after the first annual Cuban Rap Festival, held in 1995, however this film indicates that the foundation for the growth of Hip Hop in Cuba was set in the 1970′s, contemporaneously with the US. Based on first-hand investigation carried out over the course of four years, including observation of and participation in Cuban Hip Hop concerts and colloquiums at the eighth annual Cuban Hip Hop Festival in Havana, and interviewing the most influential Cuban Hip Hop artists and producers, this documentary traces Cuban Hip Hop step by step in a way that has yet to be formally recorded or published.
CLICK ON THIS LINK TO WATCH THE DOCUMENTARY: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=HOG_SwRL18s#!
Tags: AIDS, Boleto al Paraiso, clandestine cuba, esperanza4hire, filmmaker, Gerardo Chijona, Havana, Hip Hop revolution, Over the Edge, taboo subject, Ticket to Paradise
On my last visit to Cuba this April 2011, I strolled the streets of Infanta, one of my favorite streets in Havana (with a few secret vinyl vendors). This last time, I walked past 3 movie theaters on the broad avenue where I noticed repeated posters of a local Cuban film called Boleto al Paraiso (Ticket to Paradise), by Gerardo Chijona. The poster hit my sentimental nerves due to the resemblance of the 1979 American film Over the Edge (Matt Dillon’s first big film). The soundtrack was genius with Cheap Trick, Ramone’s, Van Halen… and the heartbreaking “Ooh Child”, the Valerie Carter version.
Just as I stared at that album cover back in the days, I found myself stopping at every poster on Infanta, approaching it and getting to know the faces of these new protagonists, hungry to see the world and flex their independence just like their 70′s American disenfranchised counterparts. Over the Edge, was a dark reflection of a society that’s turned its back on its young citizens. Over the Edge was also a commentary on the generation gap which leads us to our Cuban version of this story released earlier this year on the island.
Boleto al Paraiso is melancholic, but illuminating. It’s also very provocative because it digs up all the old demons of the “Special Period”, a painful era full of economic crash from 1990′s Cuba. The Special Period is mentioned on this blog often due to the fact this exact period is what birthed the Hip Hop revolution in Cuba. In this particular movie, the characters from the 90′s era are the “rocker kids”, which was a different musical youth movement that came together in protest.
In the film, each of the characters are each going through their dark lives, starting with Eunice who flees home to escape her fathers sexual advances. She joins a crew of other runaway buddies as they all head towards Havana. It’s lots of bonding, emotions, and adventures. More importantly, the reflect and question their fates, and the paradigm they’re living within their own country — bonded through loneliness and emptiness. And just like the 90′s scene, some of the radical rockers in Cuba injected themselves with AIDS as a statement of their preference to die rather than live in a drone existence. The film touches upon this moment as well.
This film makes you want to grab the Rocker kids, give them a big hug and assure them that new days are coming. Hang in there guys! — “things are gonna get easier… ooh child things will get brighter”.
Text by Jauretsi
Photos Courtsey of production company