“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment”
It has been about 6 years since i payed my roots a visit. Today, i noticed something while i stayed still and observed; how incredibly full of shit our society is. I payed close attention to the daily whines on twitter over insignificant things like choosing the latest, fastest, superhuman mobile phone that will wipe an asshole at the mere download of an application. I noticed how incredibly blessed I am to have the power to simply EXPRESS MYSELF. Through any means, i could wake up tomorrow (like many in our society) and wave a giant flag in the middle of a busy street displaying my belief systems/sexuality/political endeavors.
Today, i was shown a documentary which stemmed from a fairly new movement; fueled by art/music/freedom that is shaping the future of a culture that would’ve been my own as i type, had my parents decided to stay in Havana. Cuba, the country that is deeply embedded in my character; a country i was ashamed to claim roots during a larger part of my teenage years; a country i blamed for my heavy accent, is now going through a great period of CHANGE and awakening. Sometimes i wonder how i would’ve survived in a country in which freedom of expression is strictly prohibited. I wonder how i would’ve turned out and if i would’ve even made it as far as 23 without getting shot or raped for believing in something.
More often than not, I find myself writing about western culture, it’s artists and the processes and conception of their contemporary work. Not today; today i pay the closest homage i can afford to a land i once called ‘mi patria’. Today is that i refuse to neglect a movement that could give tiny specs of freedom to a generation frustrated with ideas. A movement so strong it cannot be shut down by monetary fury, or insufficient funds. The act of expression (even if for a weekend) that my generation stuck with mere hope can taste at no cost. Today i write for them.
I posted Silvio Rodríguez’ song “OJALÁ” in contrast with contemporary views posted in this electronic music festival. Very often, cuban artists disguise their political statements in a romantic/poetic lullaby based on a love story. Although i don’t think OJALÁ is the case, this song represents the only intangible element cubans have been holding on to for the last 50 years; hope.