Oct 232014


The subject of this video is the art project, Surcos de la ciudad, “Wrinkles of the City,” for the 11th Havana Art Biennial in 2012 .

Invited by the Wifredo Lam museum to contribute to the Art Biennial, Havana forms the backdrop to the works. Its worn, decaying buildings bear the portraits of 25 older people who have lived through and endured the history of the city.   The video is directed by the two artists who created the murals, JR (from France) and José Parlá, (a Cuban American artist).  It features their work, the artists’ process in the creation of the murals as well as conversations with the people who were photographed. Continue reading »

Oct 172014

Arabic/Islamic influences in Old Havana.

The forces of Spanish Colonial, Arabic, ecletic and art deco are strongly apparent in the architecture of Havana. Interestingly though, the architecture did not evolve from the indigenous population, but rather from the culture of invading nations and what they needed to achieve at a particular time in history. The Spanish invaded and later the Americans dominated politics of the right wing dictatorship of Batista and industry in Cuba.  The outsider forces on arrival in Cuba built forts as a line of defense and, later on, residential and civic buildings in the style of the period of time in which they were constructed.  Architecture was adapted to the new Cuban way of life, raw materials and climate. Wealth had masses to do with the shape and form of  architecture that evolved in Havana. Cuba’s strategic position in the Caribbean was also an influence.  Havana at its highpoint became one of the greatest cities in Latin America. Continue reading »

Oct 152014


The Fototeca de Cuba or the Library of Cuba, situated in the Plaza Vieja in an 18th century two storey blue building at 307 Mercaderes, was established in 1986.  Its mission is to preserve, study and promote the country’s valuable photographic collection and create a space for the promotion and exhibition of Cuban photography.  The Fototeca de Cuba houses the national photographic archive (transferred from the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes), a vast and valuable collection of documents.  It is also a museum with the widest and most valuable collection of Cuban photography known.  It serves as a gallery with spaces for temporary exhibitions of photography that are not (yet) a part of the permanent collections of the archives. Continue reading »

Oct 142014


For the visitor to Havana, Cuba, one of the most striking features of the city is its architecture.  The architecture of Havana is an echo of a time of cultural splendor and creativity.  Some would say this state of mind still exists today.  A city framed by the beauty of its architecture, both modern and historical and its weary decay.  But fear not, a massive reconstruction and renovation project has been underway for years, restoring what is lovely in Havana. Continue reading »