Cuban Culture Minister Highlights Recovery of the Sector after Irma

Havana, Dec 27 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Minister of Culture, Abel Prieto, stressed today that despite the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, the country managed to reopen damaged art schools and save patrimonial objects.

In statements to Prensa Latina, Prieto recalled that the atmospheric phenomenon, the most powerful one formed in the Atlantic Ocean basin, caused damages to some 300 institutions of the sector located in provinces of the north coast.

It caused a lot of damage, in Havana the House of the Americas suffered the effects of the penetrations of the sea, luckily the training that people have in preserving the patrimonial objects, the equipment, allowed that the losses in that field were minimal; however, it was a hard blow to the institutional system, he lamented.

When making a balance of the recovery labors Prieto assured that in addition to restoring the schools, Cuba reactivated the cultural life in the damaged areas.

This meteor, which hit the archipelago in September, left 10 dead and caused havoc in homes, educational centers, hotel facilities, roads, among other sequels.

The response of the artists was very important, as in other occasions they created brigades to travel to the ravaged sites where there were affected people in shelters, people who had lost everything; they carried a message of solidarity, of spirituality and affection that is contained in art, the culture minister emphasized.

Despite Irma's lashes, he said, 2017 was full of successful events such as the Havana Film Festival, the International Handicraft Fair, Cubadisco, the Caribbean Festival, the Book Fair (celebrated at the beginning of the year) and the Romerías de Mayo.

About the prospects for 2018, the minister said that one of the challenges will be to guarantee the cultural life with rationality in the use of resources.

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A "Showcase" for the Guayabera

A traditional ranch of Sancti Spíritus city treasures a collection of Guayaberas that includes pieces of outstanding personalities of politics, art and sports… we paid a visit.

Santa Elena Ranch seats by the banks of Yayabo River, very close to the famous bridge. Everybody knows the bridge and river are Sancti Spíritus’s main symbols, one of the first Cuban villages. In this place welcomes for some years now one of the most popular and visited cultural centers of the city: the Guayabera House, dedicated to the promotion of a garment that identifies Cuba around the world, some even assure it was born in this area.

We won't enter the debate. The "paternity" has been granted to a few, here and abroad. But the truth is that so far the guayabera is already an unquestionable part of our cultural identity. It is the "going out" clothes of "peasants" (some of them anyway, since it’s difficult to find many differences between the ways of the city and those of the countryside) and the piece of clothes by excellence of protocol.

The House treasures the most important guayabera collection in Cuba… and probably of the world. Not only for the variety of designs and quality of the pieces exhibited, but by the relevance of the personalities the guayaberas belonged to. Just to mention a few names: there are guayaberas of Fidel and Raúl Castro, Gabriel García Márquez, Hugo Chávez, Alicia Alonso, Vilma Espín, Juan Almeida, Danny Glover, Miguel Barnet…

Some are exhibited at the center of the exhibition room. But the most representative pieces (which are also the most popular) already have permanent showcases.

All guayaberas are different: the "spectrum" of the fabrics, the colors, the designs, the tucks… is really wide. But the greatest distinction is the history they "tell". The guayabera worn by Fidel, for example, he wore it at the Ibero-American Summit of Cartagena de Indias, in Colombia, 1994.

The Guayaberas of Raúl, Fidel, and Juan Almeida.

It was a surprise for the world. Everyone expected the Cuban president appear with his traditional army uniform, but responding to a request of organizers, Fidel agreed to use a guayabera. No president was so photographed at that summit. That was the garment he used to go in a car ride with his great friend Gabriel García Márquez.

On display there is the guayabera worn by Alicia Alonso, Cuba’s prima ballerina in the celebrations for the 30th anniversary of the Cuban National Ballet, in 1978. Raul Castro’s guayabera a gift from Vilma, for his birthday…

Visitors have the chance to listen these and other stories. They can observe every piece. The collection is large, the exhibition is renewed every so often. On top of all that, they can appreciate the making process, because a tailor works in one of the rooms.

The largest Guayabera and some of the tiniest.

Carlo Figueroa the director (a known media man who have dedicated many years to the Guayabera House), he doesn't believe this House is a museum. “It’s a cultural center, with a patrimonial exhibition. Our intentions have always been to welcome a varied programme: exhibitions, concerts, fairs, presentations… Taking advantage of the excellent location, the beautiful view. Here we have options for everyone."

The Guayabera House is today a reference of the culture of Sancti Spíritus. One of the must-see places for those who arrive to this beautiful city of the island center.

Amilkal Labañino Valdés / Cubasi Translation Staff

Santiago de Cuba Prepares 37 International Festival of the Caribbean

Santiago de Cuba, Jun 29 (Prensa Latina) The House of the Caribbean prepares the 37th Fire Festival (Fiesta del Fuego), which will attract crowds with colors, taste and sounds from July 3rd to 9th.

The opening of the International Festival of the Caribbean will take place next Monday with an artistic performance at the Heredia theater, which will hold theoretical sessions, as well as music, theater and dance performances, along with plastic arts exhibitions.

In the whole city, dozens of indoor and outdoor areas have been arranged to host groups that work with traditional culture from Cuba and other countries from the Caribbean and Latin America.

The International Award of the House of the Caribbean will be granted to outstanding musician Marcel Mercera, from Bonaire, a Caribbean island to which the festival is dedicated.

Argentina, Germany, Bahamas, Brazil, Curacao, Spain, Guadalupe, Chile, Virgin Islands, Panama, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Jamaica, United States, Uruguay, Trinidad-Tobago and Venezuela are among the 21 countries that will participate in the festival, which will have the highest amount of participants from Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

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Cuban Group Buena Fe to Perform in Venezuela

The Cuban group Buena Fe will perform on December 9th at the plaza Diego Ibarra in this capital city, as part of the activities of the festival ''Suena Caracas''.

'We are very happy of meeting again the Venezuelan audience, which crowds the plazas over and over again. Buena Fe will always sing wherever people offer their heart,' posted the duo on their facebook official account.

The Latin American Festival of Music Suena Caracas resumes its program from December 9th to 17th.

The event was postponed after the national mourning in Venezuela as tribute to historic leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro, who died on November 25th at age 90.

On her Twitter account, president of the Foundation for the Culture and Arts Ifigenia Arellan said that the festival will be resumed on Friday with a special tribute to Fidel Castro.

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Plácido Domingo Gives an Open Rehearsal for Art Students in Cuba

Havana, Nov 24 (Prensa Latina) Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo will offer an open rehearsal today at the Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso to students of art schools and members of the Teatro Lírico de Cuba.

The Ministry of Culture of the Caribbean country confirmed that the National Symphony Orchestra will accompany the singer in this session and during his unique concert next November 26, to pay homage to Cuban music.

Domingo, considered by many experts as the most versatile of all living tenors, arrived yesterday at the José Martí International Airport in this capital and was received by government officials and artistic personalities.

As announced, Domingo will perform here a repertoire of important native musicians such as Gonzalo Roig and Ernesto Lecuona, with fragments of some of his operas and zarzuelas, among other genres.

The Ministry of Culture, the Cuban Institute of Music and the National Council of Performing Arts will locate screens outside the theater and two thousand free-access chairs for the people interested in seeing the show live.

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French and Cuban History Museums Sign Agreement

The Natural History Museum of Paris and its Cuban counterpart signed today here an agreement of collaboration destined to legalize the exchanges between both institutions.

On the French part the director of the French scientific entity in Paris, Bruno David; and the director of the National Museum of Natural History of Cuba (MNHN), Esther Pérez.

One of the objectives of the agreement, emphasizes the text, is to create an interrelation and scientific exchanges on the fauna and the flora of our country, Cuba.

Also, to develop joint research allowing to extend the collaboration, knowledge on botany, zoology, and ecology of the flora and the fauna of Cuba, inside the research projects planned by each of the institutions.

To join efforts, resources, scientific knowledge and joint technical staff, leading to the development of projects in the study of the collections of butterflies, chandeliers and birds of every institution, as well as the achievement of collection of specimens in Cuba to take part in the description of the fauna of every country, constitutes another of the targets.

The specialists' exchange will provide information by means of chats, workshops and seminars; as well as achievement of joint exhibitions with shared histories about the investigated groups; incorporation in the exhibitions of technologies or other interactive elements that facilitate the interaction with the visitor.

For the director of the MNHN the agreement is important, since a joint work exists with the Parisian entity, which hoards Cuban collections deposited by the Cuban naturalist of French ancestry Felipe Poey (1799-1891).

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Cuban Artists Take Their Art to the Communities Affected by Mathew

Despite the recovery stage in which the villagers in the municipalities affected by Hurricane Matthew are, they made a pause today to feed their soul with the art offered by Cuban artists.

When Alexis Leyva Machado, aka Kcho, arrived at this city, the artistic group of the Youth Labor Army (EJT) in Guantanamo joined him along with a contingent of young artists of the territory.

About twenty artists from Guantanamo will work in the city of Baracoa along with the Martha Machado brigade, which is led by Kcho, who set camp in the space where, before Matthew, was occupied by a playground. Amid their tents and surrounded by flags they enliven the evenings and nights of this city.

Meanwhile, the artistic group the EJT visits the communities of Imias and Maisí to bring art and dreams, explained Major Ruben Nicolas Macias, director of the group belonging to the Revolutionary Armed Forces.

'Our main mission is to brighten the soul of each of the victims, with cultural activities; likewise we will help in the debris removal actions and the recovery of affected facilities', he said.

Another group of young artists and intellectuals headed by writer and President of the Hermanos Saiz association (AHS) in Guantanamo, Eldis Baratutes Benavides, went to the municipality of Maisi, located in the Eastern point of Cuba and one of the most affected areas.
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The Third Silk Road International Film Festival Begins in China

The 3rd Silk Road International Film Festival begins today in the Chinese city of Xi''an, in the center of the country, with the famous actor Jackie Chan as a spokesperson for the cultural event.
The annual film event, one of the largest in China, is jointly organized by the regulatory authorities of the film industry of the country and the governments of Shaanxi and Fujian.

Dedicated to uniting the nation with the countries of Western Asia, the meeting takes place in the two provinces alternately, and in this edition it is hosted by Xi'an, capital of the Shaanxi Province, until September 23rd.

The festival, named after the ancient route connecting Asia and Europe, highlights the cultural diversity of cinema along the route.

In the case of Chan, the organizers emphasize his strong interest in the route and its history. In 2015, in his film Dragon Blade, based on the legend of a battle between the Chinese army and the Roman army along the route, Chan starred as a Chinese warrior who unites the ethnic groups.

Art critics hope the festival will serve as a bridge between the Chinese seventh art industry and the one of Western Asia and Europe.

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