Cuban Poster Art
In September 2012, Mr Mealing and I traveled to Cuba. And I don’t just mean Havana. We went totally rural, visiting the western side of Cuba, staying in some beautiful villages, including with a lovely family in Vinales, Pinar del Rio, Cuba. So I have a special place in my heart for the Cuban people and got to see for myself how different their world is to our own.
Cuban Poster Art is a project that wants to give the Cuban graphic artists an international voice. The posters are much more analogue than digital, which is understandable since computers, ipads and mobile phones aren’t exactly commonplace over there (thank you American embargo). Without easy internet access, it makes it difficult for them to spread their message. For this same reason though, I am really interested to see what work they produce. There is a distinct lack of commercialism in Cuba, replaced country-wide by properganda. You are more likely to see (hand-painted) signs painted on walls regarding the Cuban Five than a billboard sign. Television isn’t inundated by advertising and the women look like women, as opposed to twelve year old boys!
There are a lot of restrictions placed on the Cuban people though. Did you know it is incredibly difficult for a Cuban to get a passport? They are required to have multiple references and provide information well in advance about where they will be staying. And it’s never guaranteed they will get it.Our tour guide, Ivan, told us he applied 3 times, all attempts unsuccessful. Cubans also cannot own or get on a boat. Ivan also told us he was unable to join us on our the boat that took us snorkelling Painted in bright colours at the foot of the wharf was a Cuban flag with a cross through it. Imagine that! Not even being allowed to go out in a boat. Such a simple thing.
I’m really interested to see the work, see how they express their political and personal plights without the influence of the internet or advertising or relying too heavily on digital technologies. So can I urge you all to check these posters out and get involved and support them by making a purchase! There is a range options to suit all budgets. Find out more information.