Welcome to our May issue of What’s On Havana, dedicated to the 12th Havana Biennial which takes place from May 22 to June 21 in Havana. The theme of this event, Entre la idea y la experiencia [Between the idea and experience], is reminiscent of Spanish poet Luis Cernuda’s famous book La realidad y el deseo, which brings all his poetry together under one title. In turn, the Biennial will bring together 119 artists from 44 countries, who will be interacting with the city and its people gauging satisfactions, shortages and aspirations in relation to their surroundings, and the role of art in everyday life and in the micro-spaces of socialization. Jorge Fernández, who chairs the event, has said, “We shouldn’t think that people don’t understand modern art; rather, what is interesting is the reaction of each of these people.”
Put more simply, this is an opportunity to see not just the work of Cuba’s very best artists who have worked feverishly to prepare their contributions, but artists from around the world as well, who will turn Havana into a gallery of ideas, images and idiosyncrasies. For an entire month, you will be spoilt for choice with exhibitions of work being shown from the picturesque town of Casablanca on the other side of Havana Bay, to popular Trillo Park in Centro Habana; from the outlying neighborhood of El Romerillo in western Havana to the Pabellón Cuba in the heart of El Vedado; from the majestic La Cabaña Fortress to an apartment in the Focsa Building.
Within this issue we have included profiles of twelve of Cuba’s best artists all of whom will be participating within the Havana Biennial, and have also included a piece on Idania del Río: Putting Clandestina on the map in recognition of her truly outstanding design work.
Away from the world of art, May has a number of other important events starting with the VIII Jornada Cubana contra la Homofobia y la Transfobia. Leading this unique revolution on behalf of the LGBT community is activist Mariela Castro Espín. These series of events represent Cuba’s participation in the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, which takes place on May 17.
Elsewhere try and get a spot if you can in a boat for The Hemingway Marlin Fishing Tournament and don’t miss Cuba’s premier music awards taking place from May 15-25.
May 2015 Highlights (Havana, unless stated)
- May 2-8: XXII Festival Internacional Romerías de Mayo (Holguín)
- May 5-23: VIII Jornada Cubana contra la Homofobia y la Transfobia
- May 15-25: Cubadisco: The Cuban Grammies
- May 25-30: The Hemingway Marlin Fishing Tournament
- May 22-June 21: The 12th Havana Biennial
Do check out our expanded Havana Guide, which is growing to accommodate the new bars, restaurants and casas particulares that continue to spring forth adding vitality and energy to Havana’s entertainment and hospitality scene.
Thanks to all of our contributors, sponsors, partners and readers. Do please keep providing us with your feedback, comments and suggestions. All enquiries should be directed to Sophia Beckman at CubaAbsolutely@gmail.com. All the best. Viva Cuba!