Marta María Ramírez

Marta María Ramírez

Soy un montón de canciones heredadas de mi amor-trovador Jorge García; un intento de Comunicadora para el Desarrollo, de periodista de género y cultural. Soy, definitivamente, friki, feminista radical, activista social y Aries, a lo Scarlett O´Hara. Hoy, soy una isla, “mañana será otro día”.

Hieroscopia

Cinema in Nuevitas

People don’t get to Nuevitas by chance. I learned that in August, 2000, when I entered that northern city in the eastern province of Camaguey, accompanied by trova singer Jorge Garcia in his tour through Cuba or rather through forgotten places. Just thinking about the eight hour long trip by buss, that is, 613 kilometers from the Cuban capital to that place, makes me reconsider it. Nuevitas is not just the project, a failed one due to the collapse of socialism, of one of the most industrialized cities of Cuba, but a town of humble fishermen, farmers working on the fields, workers that leave their homes at dawn and onlygo back to sleep. It is a city of highly contaminated and visibly dirty beaches that smell like ammonia when sea breeze is not strong. Its streets are dwelled by tattooed youth as a reminder of men and women resembling Ray Bradbury, young people that only listens to their future in mermaid songs coming from the north, or from the incredibly beautiful beach of Santa Lucia and nearby cays celebrating international tourism, because Nuevitas is not visited by international tourism either (there is barely a house with a rent permit for...

Antigonon x 100 = another epic number

“Antigonon is the work of bad luck”, ridicules Carlos Díaz while saying that next August 10, the staging of this piece by young Cuban playwright Rogelio Orizondo, will reach the long-awaited 100th performance. Since last September 29, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Antigonon: an epic contingent has been staged in Havana at the Trianon Theater, making it Cuban and reinterpreting the Greek myth of Antigone, the heroine from Tebas, from Cuban referents. In September, 2002, with La Celestina, by Fernando de Rojas, El Público Theater Company paved the way for large theater seasons. The piece reached a total of 150 uninterrupted performances and an award for being a box-office and a season hit. Carlos Díaz remembered the ritual: “they will place the card for 100 performances”. Then, he highlighted the usual party he set up in which the theater takes Linea Street, as it happened with Santa Cecilia and Freddie (2005), La relaciones de Clara (2007), Ay, mi amor, Una descarga by Adolfo Llauradó (2009), Noche de Reyes (2012) and Calígula (2013). However, Orizondo is preparing a surprise “even for Carlos”. The Cuban playwright, who has also made some incursions in cinematographic scripts, says to be satisfied “with the number...

Woody Allen finally in Cuba

Play it again, Sam, one of the theater plays by New Yorker playwright and filmmaker Woody Allen is staged in Havana, thanks to an alliance between creators and entrepreneurs. For a feminist, for whom it is hard to confess her love for misogyny in the pathetic alter ego of US filmmaker Woody Allen (no further comments on his intimately public life), the meeting could not go any other way: an impeccable red Ford from the 50’s and Enrique, a mechanical engineer turned into a taxi driver, in front of my gate in 1905. We headed to the east in search of an big house abandoned for some wealthy man during the early 60’s (as Enrique’s Ford), in the outskirts of Havana –not so much in the outskirts if public transportation had not been destroyed for more than five decades of indolence. It used to be called La Campana. On some random occasions I swam in its pool and spent evenings there partying with friends. Now it is called La Mandragora, now it offers Spanish bar snacks and other delicious food. Kike, its owner, every Thursday night undertakes the challenge of bringing Woody Allen to Havana. Obviously the irreverent New Yorker...

Kamankola: Antes que lo prohíban

There are friends that ask for help and it is impossible to say no to them. For me that is the case of Robertiko Ramos, a very good designer and a friend from our long past times at the pre university school Vladimir I. Lennin. With Tuyuca Productions I supported him fully in the social networks about a year ago in the project Tocando Tierra by Spanish singer-songwriter Muerdo and now he asked me to join the crowdfounding of Antes que lo prohiban (Before it is banned), Kamankola’s first CD. I already knew Kamankola, its leader. With Aceituna sin Hueso, a band that fusions flamenco and whatever, I heard him rap, even when many hip hop singers abandoned this protest genre to make incursions in reggaeton and become famous. But I had lost track of him perhaps because I was no longer doing musical journalism. That’s how I became part of this Kamankola that would open many doors not only to Jorge Liam García, but to a means of financing unexplored for independent discography made in Cuba. As I cannot continue saying that this an amazing project, thanks to OnCuba I’ll leave to Jorgito to explain why we should support...

Ricardito, baterista de Los Tacson, la banda que abrió  los conciertos en el Patio de María, en 1987.

Rock made in Cuba: “Breaking the diphthong”

It rained a little over a decade since the arbitrary closure of the Patio de Maria, formerly known as the Cathedral of the Cuban Rock. In September 2003, I didn’t only go to the one that was assumed was last concert, but , soon after , signed , together with thousands of people, a letter in which a group of growers of Cuban rock demanded the reopening of El Patio with its creator, Mary Gattorno as director. A year later, in an interview I made to the Cuban troubadour Silvio Rodríguez he told me: “at the time I gave my signature not to close it. I still think it is a place chosen by some young people and their choice should be respected. I would see something like that as a sign of social maturity. " But the maturity of the Cuban cultural policy makers had to wait another 3 years. In 2007, the Cuban Rock Agency was created in Havana, an idea that had been cooking unanswered since before 2003. Last May, the founding director of the Agency, Max Yuri Ávila, decided to live in the U.S., along with members of Cuban bands that were on an unprecedented tour...

Beauty Pageant Contest in Cuba to close the year

Sixteen Cuban men and women, who are between 16 and 25, will attend the Belleza y Cubanía beauty pageant contest, to be held on December 28 and 29 at Havana’s America Theatre. Belleza y Cubanía, a competition that understands beauty also as ¨manner exquisiteness¨, will take place for the first in Havana, with the support of the Cultural Houses Provincial Council, its organizers told OnCuba. ¨We are not interested in the measurements 90-60-90 in women; neither muscles of men. We are looking for well-prepared for life men and women¨, Jorge Landa, creator and director of the contest noted. Landa, who lives both in Spain and Cuba, confessed having studied every beauty event in the world. ¨I wanted to make something taking the good things and avoiding the bad ones of those shows¨, he said. To reach his objective, Landa assured he has worked for a year in training for the event the chosen boys and girls, who are mostly pre-university and university students and even self-employed. The participants in this edition are from the provinces of Havana, Sancti Spíritus Ciego de Ávila and Camagüey. Landa only advanced that while on the runway ¨they will introduce themselves with name and surname...

Strawberry and Chocolate: 20 years after

In Havana, is no longer necessary to choose between one and another flavor. Sexual diversity is politically correct. To this normalization contributed the Cuban film Fresa y Chocolate (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Juan Carlos Tabio, 1993). 20 years after it is now receiving a tribute. "We could not pass the 20 years of Strawberry and Chocolate. The film and the work of Titón, seen today as well, deserve this, " Pablo Platas, Cultural attaché of the Spanish embassy in Havana, said. "For us, seen from outside, there is a before and after Fresa y Chocolate in Cuban cinema and beyond" Platas said on the occasion of the celebration, which it is added to the fact that the Iberian country participated in the production, together with the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Arts and Industry (ICAIC). Platas, who hosts the Thursdays at the Embassy gathering, also said his recent experience in the conference of the American journalist and professor B. Ruby Rich on queer cinema "someone said the film is the leading advocate of sexual diversity and Victor Fowler replied that it was a plea for tolerance. Today, Vladimir told me that is an argument for the inclusion of normal. " Therefore,...

Woodstock from New York to Havana

With love and in women, youth and green style. If in 1969, the state of New York starred one of the music and arts festivals with the highest youth congregation in history under the slogan 3 Days of Peace and Music, Havana, more than four decades later, bets on Love in, an event that dedicates its 6th edition to women and ecology. On next November 15 and 16 , this Havana festival, emerged in 2008 as a tribute to the New Yorker festival, will return for the sixth time and will again take place on the grounds of La Cabaña cultural complex , from 2:00 pm to 3:00 am. Although its real motivation might be as simple as making party for the so-called "festival of festivals", the production team has taken seriously the commitment of the hippie counterculture movement from the 60's of last century: peace, ecology, freedom and love, one of its founders and coordinator of the happenings and performances, Evry Smith, said. "Love in is to spread young art, unrecognized art not only by others, but by artists who are like hermits," Camila Lozano, fine arts coordinator, noted. "There are many people who can be doctors or any...

OTI Platform for Iberoamerican scenic creators was presented in Havana

Although the novel Spanish playwright Victor Sanchez did not attend Havana Theater Festival, he had the opportunity to publicly and blindly propose " marriage of convenience to those who want to leave the island" and he even did not deny "the possibility of falling in love." "I am still looking for people to share my fucking life. I take the opportunity provided by the Festival to meet new guys, "thus the young Cuban actor Milton García concluded his defense of Sanchez’s text, who left as contact his telephone number (0034-646425797) and Facebook account ( Victor Sanchez Rodriguez). The possibility of being was given by OTI Platform, Iberoamerican Theater Organization, a community formed in 2013 by him and a group of young scenic creators, among who stands out the Cuban Rogelio Orizando, who talked about it the day before, in the theoretical event of the 15th Havana Theatre Festival. OTI consists of 11 scenic creators from Spain, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay and Cuba, whose mission is to permanently promote their creations. "We met each other at Blue Panorama Intensive Playwriting Seminar, in Buenos Aires, and because of affinity we get together and decided to create a kind of platform that...

Georbis Martínez / Foto: Antonio Castro

Georbis Martínez: a coming-and-going immigrant

Cuba has short-term memory. Perhaps for being a new town, according to Brazilian anthropologist Darsy Riveiro’s thesis; for our slow, unorganized, warm, and sometimes unsuccessful struggle for survival; all mixed up with the useful human capacity that allows us to live even in grieve for losses, whether for death or immigration, and we do know about that. However, the story of Cuban actor Georbis Martinez, whom I met in the stage of El Publico Theatre and in the Pavel Giroud Cinema, could bring down any of my hypothesis. Georbis, who immigrated to Spain six years ago, is now back in Cuba, from where he doesn’t seem to have left. He came to present La otra voz (The other voice), by Spanish playwright and director Manuel De, at Havana’s Theater Festival, but I have been told he is planning to definitely return to Cuba in January 2014. As a gossiper I dug into his coming-and-going immigrant suitcase. I found a volume of Jose Marti’s Collected Works; Virgilio Piñera. Collected Works; The actor and the dartboard by English Declan Donnelan; a modern e-book with other authors; some amulets and many memories. Now it is your turn to dig in his suitcase. You left...

The authentic voice of Manuel De

Havana is the capital of theater. Walking down the central Linea Street may hold you meetings with actresses and actors-the most visible, as well as directors, playwrights, technicians ..., from around the world and Cubans living overseas. No missing rehearsals, readings and theatrical releases, the latter apparently a requirement imposed for those born here, wherever they come from, can access the biennial festival program. As one cannot evade the spirit of the city that comes in waves of festivals, I escaped to the general rehearsal of The other voice, a text by Spanish Manuel De, who took only a little of the work The human voice, written in 1930 by Frenchman Jean Cocteau. Manuel has reinvented everything to create, on the set which he also runs, his own language. Here he takes hold on photography and performance recorded as a video art. It even includes a fragment of one of the representations of Gunter Brus, an Austrian Avant Garde artist I only had references of. The playwright, 35, who has confessed to wanting to provoke rejection like Brus or German Joseph Beuys or the famous Serbian Marina Abramović, all with their cutting-edge performances; also uses visual language resources such as...

Havana World Music: the world fits in Havana

On February 7 and 8, 2014, Havana will become the capital of the World Music, in order to "make known the musical diversity of Cuba to the Cubans themselves as well as outsiders,” the general coordinator Havana World Music festival (HWM) , Ismael Sayyad, told OnCuba. HWM takes hold of the concept known as world music, to create a space in which converge local bands and musical expressions, little played on the island, and groups from other parts of the planet. As world music people identify traditional or folk music, and ethnic and genres characteristic of cultures around the world. Meanwhile, debates between specialists that place it as a huge genre or market category label. "The use of this term is somewhat opportunistic. We're going to take advantage of it because it contains a lot of things, “the artistic director of the event, the Cuban singer Eme Alfonso confessed. For the production of the HWM, Raquel Avila, the idea is "that musicians work with a base identity, which then merged with music such as rock, funk, jazz ... But we have the assurance that is not a thing made in a studio or in a music distributor.” From Cuba is...

Sociedad gallega de Matanzas, La Colla / Foto: Eme Alfonso

Para Mestizar: Cuban heritage that is not in books

October 12, the date traditionally marks the arrival of Columbus in America, promotes the Day of American Cultural Diversity for historical reflection and intercultural dialogue on the rights of indigenous peoples.   Eme Alfonso comes from a family that has explored the roots of what is known as Cuban. Her mother and father, extracted from peasant essences, first in the vocal quartet Tema Cuatro , and later in Sintesis, a group from which for more than 3 decades have unraveled the Yoruba . But she has undertaken her own way, not only as a songwriter, but as a Cuban seeking legacies that shape our miscegenation. In her search, she recorded her second CD; Eme Alfonso. The CD is under a license by the Colibri label since2012, but has not yet been edited. While waiting for the depressed Cuban recording industry, Eme proposes a new project: To mix (Para mestizar) Under the title of the third track from her CD, with lyrics by the troubadour Pedro Luis Ferrer and her music, she recorded Cuban music cultural diversity of the island, on a project documentary video clip that discovers communities in Havana, Mayabeque , Matanzas , Cienfuegos , Ciego de Avila and...

There are many Antigones in the people

What began as a mere documentation of work in progress of the play Antigonon, a contingent epic, the most recent staging of Carlos Diaz, director of The Public Theater troupe , has become a Cuban filmmakers project that questions the role of women in the revolution of 1959. Still in production, Antigonon, the Process, it explores, also from the Greek myth of Antigone, the incorporation of women to the Cuban revolution, from a feminine and young look. In 8 well-defined frames it includes the rehearsal of the work in progress by Diaz, a stereotype of motherhood, Cuban education system, participation of women in the failed harvest of 10 million tons of sugar in the early 70's the last century and a representation of what may be the two Antigone, by the text by Rogelio Orizando, within five decades, among other topics. If the Greek Antigone was sentenced to be buried alive for having buried the body of her brother Polinicles, "the Cuban Antigones bury utopias,” Yaíma Pardo told OnCuba. She along with Lilian Broche directed the documentary, which showed only a "first cut" at the Ellas crean Cuba Festival. "We researched on the utopias we wanted to meet, what we...

Cuba has its own Antigone

With Roger Orizando I fell again in what for me was past prejudice: I could not believe those crude and provocative texts, which turn my stomach and made me wonder everything ad nauseum, emerged from that pristine image he projects. It was hard to think that a boy of his generation could be feminist, even without knowing it, without trying to be fashionable, and gain more adepts and funding . By then I had only read ¨Vacas¨ (2007 UNEAC David Award). After that I read ¨Ayer dejé de matarme gracias a ti¨, ¨Heiner Müller¨ and ¨Perros que jamás ladraron¨ ( I could not read ¨La hijastra¨. Censorship beat me for being out of Cuba). I increasingly admired Rogelio until I met him and loved him-I can admit it because I never believed in the objectivity of my trade. On September 29 th, Carlos Diaz, director of El Publico Theatre, will premiere his finished version of Antigonon, an epic contingent, a text he entrusted Rogelio for the graduation of novice actresses Deisy Forcade and Giselda Calero, and we could see its work in progress at the beginning of 2013, at Havana’s Raquel Revuelta room. This interview may serve as an invitation...

An embassy open to the public

The so-called cultural industries and the art market have focused the debates held by the Spanish Embassy in Cuba, during the three editions of “Thursday from the Embassy”, a space created with the "primary intention of being a cultural meeting place,"   Ambassador from that country on the island, Juan Francisco Montalban told OnCuba. The debates covered the publishing world with Cuban writers Leonardo Padura and Pedro Juan Gutiérrez, the art market, by critic Rafael Acosta and plastic artist Roberto Diago, and the future of the performance on the island, with the actors Jazz Vila and Osvaldo Doimeadiós. "We tried to bring in what they have gone a step further, which is in the industrialization of culture, with its positive and negative nuances," Paul Platas, Spanish Cultural Attaché, said. "It's one of the few issues on which Spain can bring to Cuba some experience," Platas said, at the end of the third edition of the meeting, which focused on the challenges of Cuban actors in the current circumstances. The official confessed to being very happy with the public response. "Each time it generates more discussion and more demands to participate, despite the intense cultural life of Havana," he added. Meanwhile, Montalban...

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