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Alex Fleites

Alex Fleites

Poeta, curador de arte y editor afincado en La Habana.

Photo: Julio César Guanche.

Cuba, a new historical moment?

Alina López Hernández (Matanzas, 1965) is a Doctor of Philosophical Sciences and a corresponding Member of the Academy of Cuban History. She has dedicated long years to teaching but her greater visibility as an intellectual is due to her keen participation in the La Joven Cuba (LJC) blog. Alina is the author of the books Segundas lecturas: intelectualidad, política y cultura en la república burguesa (Matanzas publishing house, 2013 and 2015) and El (des)conocido Juan Marinello. Estudio de su pensamiento político (Matanzas publishing house, 2014). She recently presented in her home province her third title: En tiempos de blogosfera,, with the same publishing house, which is a compilation of small essays and opinion articles previously published in LJC. En tiempos de blogosfera sold out as soon as it went for sale. Its 500 copies “disappeared” in two days. I’m among the lucky ones that got one, which I literally devoured. There I found an infinite number of subjects that are related to me, original and disturbing points of view, a diaphanous prose and an open desire to participate, from academia and theory, in the scrutiny of our contemporaneity. Hence my intention to share with OnCuba readers this fleeting conversation with...

Photo: Alex Fleites

Intelligence and will

There is a scene in Thelma and Louise in which the character of Susan Sarandon says to the police that was following them: “Well, this is not the end of the world, but you can see it from here.” This phrase from Ridley Scott’s splendid film comes to mind again and again in these days of pandemic. Perhaps we are not witnessing the end of the world, but we are, surely, the end of a way of perceiving it. I’ve already said it on another occasion. That paragraph from Martí about the “vain villager” who thinks that the whole world is his village has not resisted the passage of the corrector of reality. Indeed, the region, any region is the world. Or in other words, the butterfly effect, the synergy, the concatenation of apparently isolated events, are one of the few certainties that we can use in this desolate stage. Due to globalization, what once seemed vanity is instantly an imperative for survival. The world is a single, indivisible territory. These crumbling times will leave several revealing evidences. One of them is that epidemics don’t believe in the degree of economic development of the countries. They wreak havoc not only...

Víctor Gómez, “Almost the End,” Oil Monotype, 33.5 X 22.5 inches, 2019. (Fragment).

Víctor Gómez: “Miami has become a metropolis of art”

Víctor Gómez (Havana, 1941) is an important name in the catalog of Cuban contemporary art. Few know it. Even he doesn't believe it himself. Affiliated to the Engraving Workshop of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC), founder and coordinator of the group “Nueve versiones del paisaje” (1976), member of the UNEAC, and of the Council of Advisers of the Ministry of Culture, when he left Havana to settle in Florida, in 1980, he had already participated in more than 80 collective exhibits, both inside and outside the country. The ominous gray quinquennium had started being surpassed. “My arrival in Miami was chaotic. Settling in a city you don't know always causes uncertainty. I was afraid that this displacement, which is not only geographical if it involves Cubans, could alter the course of my life as an artist. I came from the Havana of the 1970s, where I had a constant artistic activity; I left behind my professional relationships, my friends, my vital and artistic references. That world collapsed when it collided with a different reality, with a different culture and with a different socio-political environment. At the time I was 39, a not very advisable age to...

Photo: Kaloian

Leonardo Padura: “It never rains but when it does it pours”

Leonardo Padura regrets not being Paul Auster. Not so much for the work of the American writer, whom he openly admires, but because, unlike him, journalists rarely ask him about literature during the long and intense promotional tours of his novels: they are generally more interested in knowing how he lives in Cuba (and why he remains on the island) than about his literary creation and aesthetic affiliations. His statements, often used out of context, if not full of mistakes, are always controversial on both sides of the ideological and geographical sea that separates Cubans. On other occasions they appear as they are, and also put people’s backs up. In two words, and paraphrasing a famous montuno, "no matter what, you have to give your opinion." I "reached" him in Bahia, Brazil. He has just arrived from the International Book Fair in Lima, where he was as a special guest. There he presented the volume of essays Agua por todas partes. A long journey in this country awaits him; he will give lectures as part of the "Fronteiras do Pensamento" cycle and promote the Portuguese edition of La transparencia del tiempo, his most recent published novel, which already circulates, in...

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