Within just a week’s time, the gallery of images presented online by the Tricontinental Institute of Social Research, under the same title as the manifesto, Let Cuba Live! has attracted attention, given the artistic quality of the messages conveyed in more than a hundred works.
The convocation inviting participants specifies that the exhibition is a visual call for an end to the economic siege imposed by the United States on Cuba for decades, with an impact that has only worsened during the pandemic. Their statement also notes that the malicious interruption of remittances, and persecution of global financial institutions working with Cuba, have prevented essential food and medicines from reaching the country.
Along with the demand to lift the blockade, several artists added references to icons of Cuba’s revolutionary history, honoring, in particular, Fidel Castro and Ernesto Che Guevara.
Among the most commented images are those of the Chilean creative group Sonría (Raiza Vera and Ernesto Iturrieta), given their power of synthesis; that of U.S. artist Sabrina Beydoun, who ingeniously utilized the technique of photographic collage; that of South Africa’s Judy Ann Shelmann, who recreates pop aesthetics; and the work of Argentina’s Dani Ruggeri, who simply placed the noise of a breaking chain at the center of her poster, symbolizing the blockade.
A group of outstanding Cuban graphic artists and humorists participated in the initiative, including Manuel Hernandez, Pepe Menendez and Laura Llopiz, Aristides Hernandez (Ares), Adan Iglesias, Jose Luis Lopez, Yoemmis Batista, Ismael Lema and Enrique Lacoste.
The Tricontinental Institute for Social Research is an international institution, promoted by emancipatory cultural activist groups and social movements from various countries, dedicated to stimulating intellectual debate in the service of popular aspirations. It has offices in Brazil, India, South Africa and Argentina, and a significant presence in U.S. academia. Its executive director, Indian philosopher Vijay Prashad, signatory of the Let Cuba Live! letter, recalls the premise of Martinican revolutionary thinker Frantz Fanon, in the interest of uniting the wretched of the earth to create a world of human beings.