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Cubart Newsletter


CUBART Newsletter is a specialized weekly news service from the Portal of Cuban Culture. In our pages you will find the most outstanding aspects from national culture ongoing and its worldwide reflection, as well as opinion sections dealing with themes which today worry intellectuals.


- Havana Theater Festival Attracts 18 Countries
- Simply Red Rocks in Havana´s Grand Theater
- Frank Fernández in Public Concert to Celebrate in Cienfuegos
- To Havana and Caracas by horse-drawn Carriage
- Don Quixote in Posters
- Happiness of Children
- National Library paid homage to the outstanding Cuban musician Benny
- Guiñol of Holguín returns to Theater Festival of Havana
- Holguín will have an Ibero American Square soon
- Summer in Festival activities


- Cuban Writer awarded with Trieste of Poetry International Prize
- Amaury Pérez in Mexico
- Cuban Girl Wins UNESCO Contest
- Juan Formell moved by Welcome in Japan


- The Cuban Five in Atlanta: A Long March Towards Justice
- Festival of Theatre of Havana: a wide and diverse program (Part I)
- José Lezama Lima and the intellectual Integrity
- Human conflict genealogy. The art of war


Havana Theater Festival Attracts 18 Countries

Havana, (PL) Groups from 18 countries have confirmed their participation in the 12th International Theater Festival of Havana to be held in mid-September, organizing committee sources confirmed Wednesday.

Groups from Argentina, Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, South Korea, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Slovenia, Spain, the United States, France, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Cuba will meet in this capital from September 15-25.

This event will bestow awards for the best Cuban and other countries´ plays, to commemorate its first 25 years and the 60th anniversary of the renewal of theater in Cuba.

According to the selection committee, the individual play "Ibericus: not all roads lead to Rome," by Chilean actor Alvaro Solar, is one of the foreign offerings that could be a reference point for exchange and improvement.

The 12th International Theater Festival of Havana will also commemorate the 80th birthday of Abelardo Estorino, winner of the 2002 National Theater Award and is considered the main renovator of the dramatic speech in Cuban today´s theater.


Simply Red Rocks in Havana´s Grand Theater

Havana, (Cubanow).- Simply Red, Great Britain´s popular rock band, is warming up for its 20-city European tour next October -in Cuba. Following Rick Wakeman (April), Audioslave (May) and Air Supply (July), all guests of Cuba´s National Music Institute, Mick Hucknall´s Simply Red performed this weekend in Havana.

Before the European tour, promoting the its latest CD Simplified , the group will also perform in Poland´s Sopot Music Festival.

In a press conference last week, Hucknall said Cuba has a unique position with respect to the rest of the world and it constitutes a challenge to other countries. He criticized commercial publicity in those countries and said there are many young people around the world who oppose globalization of consumerism.

The group, which has sold more than 45 mill i on records, had its performance, which it shared with Cuban bands at Havana´s Grand Theatre, filmed to produce a DVD. Hucknall visited the island recently to personally prepare all the details of the group´s Havana trip and made a video, recently screened in London, which will also be part of the announced DVD.

Founded in 1983 by Hucknall –after leaving Frantic a nd t he Elevators - S imply Red made the British hit parades with Picture Book in 1985 and produced its second album in 1987. Since then, with different musicians, it has remained popular throughout the years.

In 1989, it won a Grammy Award in the R hythm and Blues category with the single If You Don´t Know Me By Now , includ ed in the album A New Flame . In 1991, its CD Star sold nine million copies, winning 12 Platinum Records.


Frank Fernández in Public Concert to Celebrate in Cienfuegos

Cienfuegos, Cuba, (PL) A public concert by Cuban pianist Frank Fernandez at the Jose Marti square will open celebrations in Cienfuegos, whose urban historic center has recently been included in the UNESCO Heritage List.

The official ceremony will be held on October 20th on the occasion of Cuba´s Cultural Day.

Known as the Pearl of the South, Cienfuegos will host a meeting of Sites and Cities previously declared World Heritage until October 22th. Such award was given to Cienfuegos last July 15th by UNESCO in Durban, South Africa.

Concerts by the famous Aragon orchestra have been scheduled for September.

-------------------------------------------------- To Havana and Caracas by horse-drawn Carriage

Bayamo (AIN). – Now, the traditional horse carriages, of this city, can be found in the streets of the Venezuelan capital and in many other tourist and recreational centers of Cuba.

An establishment of the Dione Craft Industry Company takes charge of making the carriages which are still part of Bayamo’s daily life, constituting one of its symbols, despite the many long years passed and the increasing traffic complexities.

Everywhere the carriage appears, it becomes a great attraction to the public, according to managers of the manufacturing unit who point out that there are the necessary conditions for meeting the demands coming from anywhere in the national territory or from other countries.

According to the prestigious local historian José Carbonell, the first carriage arrived to Bayamo at the beginning of the 19th Century, ordered to Paris by the rich merchant Don José Alonso, and he had a Duchess model.

Afterwards, Luis Torné Miniet brought, through Manzanillo Customs, another two- horse American one, family type, with bellows closed hood to the driver´s seat, and some time later the English model Milord arrived.


Don Quixote in Posters

Havana, (Habana Radio) With an exhibition dedicated to Don Quixote, the Centro Hispano-Americano de Cultura (Hispanic-American Center of Culture) joins itself to the tributes on occasion the 400th anniversary of the publishing of El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de La Mancha. (The ingenious nobleman Don Quixote of La Mancha). This time, the institution halls host the works which participated in the National Competition of Posters, summoned by the UNEAC sponsored by the Asociación Prográfica (Prographic Association) and the Fundación Caguayo (Caguayo Foundation).

The contest on the well-known character of the universal literature conferred three prizes and two mentions, selected among more than a hundred projects by 64 designers from the whole country. The first award was for Luis Rodríguez (NOA by his work Carpe Diem, while the second one was reached by Nelson Ponce Sánchez, for his work Deltoboso; and the third one, by David Alfonso Suárez for his : Anatomy of a Gentleman.

Meanwhile mentions were conferred to Idania del Rio, for 400 años Quijote, (Quixote 400 years), and to Raudel Hernández, for ¿Gigantes o molinos?. (Giants or mills?).

Thanks to the promotion through ETECSA prepaid (public phone) cards, the winning poster will be printed all over the Island, just like the rest of the awarded ones The exhibition which will remain in the Hispanic-American Center this month, is inserted within the efforts of the new generations of Cuban artists for granting to graphic design a preponderant paper within the culture of the country.

The center, sponsored by the Office of the Historian of the City, has a cultural project nourished from contributions by the Hispanic-Cuban Institution of Culture, founded in 1926 by Don Fernando Ortiz. Lectures, film screenings, exhibitions of diverse artisitc expressions, concerts, literary presentations and proposals for children, conform the wide program scheduled by the institution, whose venue is in Malecón Ave. No. 17.


Happiness of Children

Havana, (BNJM) The activities for children and teenagers finished with music and joy, within a special program of this summer dedicated to the 16th Festival of Youth and Students, organized by the National Library at the Communications Park of the Plaza de la Revolution Municipality.

Children enjoyed the performance of the puppeteer Elio Garcia, as well as organized sport games, origami and participation games.

The wave of joy invaded the park and gave a healthy and hopeful environment for a new generation of Cubans who live in peace and harmony and is the natural relay of the present revolutionary generations.

Cuban culture and national identity became stronger and children enjoyed in this hot summer, but full of love, friendship and solidarity among brothers.


National Library paid homage to the outstanding Cuban musician Benny Moré

Havana, (BNJM) In the "Argelier Leon" Music Room of "Jose Marti" National Library and, as part of the summer program defending national identity, was given the lecture "Following the missing musical mark of Benny More in the Mexican movie". The researcher Pepe Reyes Fortun was the lecturer who illustrates the public with a great mastery and, in a pleasant way talked about the musical career and the image in the movie of that immortal representative of the Cuban music: the great Benny More.

The researcher Reyes Fortun illustrated the international impact of Benny and his exceptional talent as an empirical musician.

Bartolomé Moré, Benny’s real name, was born in August 24th 1919 in Santa Isabel de Las Lajas, at Las Villas province. He was a distinguished singer and composer in all styles.

He learned to play guitar when he was a child, singing since his early years in parties as well as in serenades, a beautiful habit which has been lost with the time.

Benny More and his guitar used to walk by the cafes and streets of Santa Isabel de Las Lajas and the near blocks, places that later he will immortalize on his compositions during his artistic career.

He moved to Havana in 1949 looking for new opportunities and for a bigger space of his music. Benny More used to sing in the streets, parks and small bars as a minstrel.

In 1945 joined Trio Matamoros and went to Mexico where he performed in elegant places. Once in Mexico, joined Perez Prado, the Mambo’s King, whom he recorded music, made films and song with successfully for some time.

Benny returned to Cuba and joined the eastern orchestra of Bebo Valdez, a few time later created his own Giant Band, as a jazz band, which added a Cuban battery, rhythms and sound and the repertory interpreted with Cuban arrangements. All those things became the band as a completely Cuban orchestra.

That band took him to the top of his career winning the love of people. His unique style when leading the band call the attention of the public wherever he played.

Benny didn’t know professional technique to lead a band, but was able to give a personal and Cuban touch, with the title El Barbaro del Ritmo. He used to call the band ‘’my tribe’’ and travelled through all America with it.

His way of dressing was very personal and was more attractive when started to wear a hat and a walking stick. Besides, Benny’s voice run all the musical register, and he had the gift of sound it acuter or deeper, passing through all the tones and tempos.

He felt a great love for his island of Cuba, and even more for his peasant roots. He used to visit frequently his mother’s house in Santa Isabel de Las Lajas, moment when shared with his family and friends to do what he always wanted to do, enjoying the peasant life in the country fields of Cuba.

Benny More got sick and died on February 19th 1963, leaving the memory of his tall figure and his immortal music.


Guiñol of Holguín returns to Theater Festival of Havana

Holguín, (AIN). - With one of its anthological plays the Puppet Theater of this oriental city will be present again in the International Festival of Havana, scheduled to take place next September in the capital of all the Cubans next September.

This time, its second participation in the momentous theatrical contest, the grouping chose Esther Suárez´version of the play « Sancho Panza en la Ínsula Barataria » (« Sancho Panza in the Barataria Island »), by the Spaniard Alejandro Casona.

Miguel Santiesteban, director of the company from Holguín, considered this invitation to the Festival an acknowledement to the work of all those who have joined its artistic cast during these more than 45 years of life of the grouping.

The puppet theater of Holguín was founded in May 17th,1959. From that date on it delighted several children generations in that and other parts of Cuba. In the edition corresponding to the 2003 International Festival of Theater of Havana, the puppet theater of Holguín presented the play « La calle de los fantasmas » (« The street of the ghosts »), by Javier Villafañe, with arrangements to be played in a hall.


Holguín will have an Ibero American Square soon

Holguín (AIN). – Soon, a group of parks named Ibero-American Square will be ready in this Cuban Eastern city, where every year a festivity of cultures from the nations which integrate the region is held in October.

One didactic allusive to Don Quixote of La Mancha, concerning the 400th anniversary of the first edition of the top work by Miguel of Cervantes Saavedra, will occupy the widest of the three walks in which artists and other committed specialists with the project are already working.

Julio Méndez, director of the Plaza de la Marqueta (Marqueta Square), informed to AIN (National Information Agency) that the park of the Quixote will have allegorical elements to the ungraceful and just character´s adventures, including the windmill, paths and 12 columns in which the most famous sentences from the Cervantine text will be sculpted.

Of course, he pointed out, sculptures of the nobleman and his faithful squire Sancho Panza will not miss, within an environment that will keep unharmed the local vegetation, between two of the main streets of city limits to the West. Alcides Saíz, architect in charge of the project of the park, explained that the works will be melted on Iron-cement (ferrocemento), as long as the 12 meter high mill is basically made from metal scraps in one of the sugar mills at Holguín province.

Another of the parks of the group, placed as a triangle among streets and avenues, will be integrated to the Ibero-American Square with a sense in favor of keeping the environment, as long as the third will be of the conventional type.


Summer in Festival activities

Havana, (BNJM)The activities for children and teenagers, planned by the National Library for this summer on festival are characterized by a wide participation of the public and a variety of offers.

Cimarron Theater Company performed for the public favouring a pleasant exchange with it.

Children also had their spaces with games and storytellings as well as chess matches and other sport games.

All the offers determined that children, with rejoice and enthusiasm being able to enjoy a happy summer, always defending the national identity.


Cuban Writer awarded with Trieste of Poetry International Prize

Havana, (WORLD DATA SERVICE). - Miguel Barnet, the most published Cuban writer in his country and abroad, alive, will become in the seventh poet of the world who receives the Trieste of Poetry International Prize, next October.

Conferred by the Antares Cultural Association, From the northeast Italian city of Trieste, the reward unanimously went to Barnet (1940) this year, in spite of being an author mostly associated to narration, genre to which he has contributed writing famous titles as his novelized testimony "Biografía de un cimarrón", reissued more than 70 times in America, China, France, Italy and other European countries.

The awarding ceremony will be held as part of the International Festival of Poetry of Trieste In October 21st : From its creation, in 1999, it has been conferred to the Senegalese Amadou Sall, to the Peruvian Arturo Laminates Corcuera, to the Spanish Jorge Jousts Census, to the Colombian Álvaro Mutis and the Macedonian Mateja Matewski among others.

The yearly conferred reward to an international relevance author by his (or her) poetic works, includes this year, besides the traditional cash reward, a silver sculpture in whose base verses by James Joyce, Humberto Saba and Rainer María Rilke are inscribed, as well as publishing a Barnet´s anthology.

The Italian poet Gaetano Longo, executive director of the Trieste Poetry International Festival, brought personally the news to Barnet with whom he works in the edition of "Juego común " ("Gioco comune"), whose publication will be in charge of the publishing house FPA,

"Juego común " ("Gioco comune") will be followed by the publishing of another anthology by the author of "La sagrada familia", which will be in charge of the Campanotto Publishing House, from the city of Udine.

In statements to the Cuban newspaper Granma, Longo assured that "the International Award conferred to Miguel Barnet will have a remarkable repercussion beyond Trieste´s literary media". Longo added that, Glaucous Felice, the translator of José Lezama Lima´s work into Italian, will also be awarded within the category of better Translators, this year.


Amaury Pérez in Mexico

Mexico, (AP) _ The Cuban trovador Amaury Pérez declared to be happy of having settled an outstanding debt with Mexico when dedicating it a composition included in "Juglar´, ( "Juggler") he said.

"I had an outstanding debt with Mexico and I have settled it. It was a commitment because it is a country I love so much, it is the one which I fell in love quite easy ´´, Pérez expressed on one of the recordings of his recent LP and second of a musical trilogy that he will finish in 2006.

My plan is to record a third disk next year and taking a good rest... a very long rest ´´, he added the island singer-composer when referring to the musical triptych he began in 2003 with the disk ´Trovador´´´ made in collaboration with his colleague Silvio Rodríguez.

´´Probably my discographic career will finish there ´´, the prolific author considered on Tuesday, in a phone interview from Cuba, arranged by the distributors of the one will become the 22nd disk of his artistic career.

Pérez explained that his music retirement was due to a sort of boredom in discographic industry, but also to his wish of dedicate completely to literature and to promote two works of that genre, from hisown authorship, he will make public soon.

I am tired of watching how music has becoming a thing, let us say, industrial. Practically, the same discographic industry is the one which decides what the people hears and what they should hear ´´, Pérez noted.

It is not that I have lost illusion... but I also need time for myself, Because I have spent traveling the last 35 years, composing and singing everywhere ´´, Pérez made clear.

Many of the songs by Pérez have been successfully interpreted by figures such as his countryman Pablo Milanes, the Spaniard Ana Belén, the Argentineans Nacha Guevara and Mercedes Sosa the Puerto Rican Danny Rivera and the French Charles Aznavour, among many others.

At the beginning of the 1970´s, Pérez became member founder of the so-called Nueva Trova Cubana (New Cuban Trova) together with his colleagues Rodríguez, Milanese, Sara González, Vicente Feliú, Noel Nicola and other trovadores.

Pérez will arrive to Mexico next week to present his new LP, and said that he keeps faithful to love songs and their different aspects.

He said that he will premiere his disk´songs in recitals scheduled for August 25th in the central city of Querétaro, and the 27th in the Mexico City in the forum of the Electric Plant.

The author´s promotional tour of "Acuérdate de abril´´, will keep on along Spain and Canada.


Cuban Girl Wins UNESCO Contest

Havana, (PL) Cuban Lysbeth Daumont won the international contest of letters for children and young people of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), according to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) sources.

Daumont, aged 14, won the prize for her message to her favorite character in fiction, inspired by the Tin Soldier story by renowned Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875).

Twelve year-old Dane Catherine Dufor won the second prize.

Denmark´s Princess Mary will present the awards to the winners next September, in a ceremony honoring the 200th anniversary of Andersen´s birth.

More than three million children under 15 from 56 countries participated in the contest created by UNESCO and the UPU in 1972.


Juan Formell moved by Welcome in Japan

Havana, (WORLD DATA SERVICE). - Juan Formell, the man who has taken to the top and kept in it the Van Van orchestra for 36 years, declared to feel very moved for the welcome given to the Cuban orchestra in Japan, where the euphoria generated ´by the first presentation of the group promises to keep on along its nine-city tour into the Japanese archipelago, informed the Cuban press.

The victorious return to Tokyo of the so-called locomotive of the Cuban music 15 years after its last performance there, took important spaces in the news media of the Antillean country which reported the show of the orchestra in a crowded Studio Coast. Mentioned by Granma daily, one of those more than five thousand spectators present in the local expressed that the public´s reaction was impressive. "There was no more room for anybody. At the end, the people applauded during 10 minutes and nobody left. This with no TV announcements and with scarce promotion". Formell, founder and conductor of the orchestra, thanked such a welcome in press conference held at the Cuban Embassy one day after their performance.

According to Granma, in the conference several musicians from The Van Van agreed with the journalists that the group is a Cuban music´s school, statement corroborated to the newspaper by the Japanese writer Ryu Murakami, one of the leading promoters of e Caribbean, and Cuban music in Japan, and specailly when comparing the orchestra with "the world popular music supergroups like the Rolling Stones."

Several Cuban websites indicated that the 2002 Grammy Award winners entered on stage amidst a closed ovation which exploded when Formell appeared alone in the Studio Coast parquet. During two hours, Japanese and part of the Latin community living in the capital of the Asian nation frenzy followed the orchestra playings which included in the program several of its highest successes from their ever-increasing career begun in 1969. Despite the language barrier, many Japanese spectators choired the orchestra´s hits, which is the most evident indicator of the Cuban artists popularity in that country, where the music of the biggest Caribbean Island is the queen in more than a nite club and its admirers increase day after day.

Cubasí, one of the Cuban cultural portals, echoed the surprise of the Van Van artists when noticing that many adolescents were among the public, most of them had not been born when the latest performing of the group took place in Japan.

Osaka, Hiroshima and Nagoya are among the cities included in the tour which will conclude coming 21st in Fukuoka, where the musicians will be the leading roles of the Island of the Salsa, a festival which pays tribute to Cuba, its music and its culture in general, for two days. This is the third visit of the Van Van to Japan and it was carried out to request of the Ibero-American Time organization, venued in Fukuoka, prefecture of the island of Kyushu.


© Scoop Media

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