Art and Culture - Post Fidel Castro

The death of Fidel Castro has been a monumental moment for Cuba and its culture. Although the future of Cuba is still extremely unknown, there has been much speculation about the advancement of arts and culture that will begin to develop. Many claim that the arts and culture of Cuba will begin to advance slowly but surely. After reading this article I felt extremely happy for Cubans everywhere. I am half Cuban and half American. My mom was born In Cuba and moved to America with her family when she was only four years old to escape Castro’s reign. I still have a large amount of family living in Cuba and I was lucky enough to visit them last year for my first time. When I was in Cuba, the art scene did not impress me. As a matter of fact, I was more disappointed with the lack of art that I had seen in a culture that was once so rich and beautiful. I thought there would be at least some advanced art regardless of all the restrictions and sheltering but unfortunately I did not see much in person.

With the drastic death of Castro, many Cubans believe that the art scene is going to develop and the restrictions of what they were able to create will slowly become less intense. The LA Times wrote an article titled, “Art After Fidel: What Castro’s death means for a rising generation of Cuban artists”, which explains the lack of culture, the potential future for Cuban artists and also includes interviews from a few Cubans. Unfortunately to be successfully, many Cuban artists had to appeal to international communities for their work to get noticed since they could not make social or political work about their own country without being thrown in jail. -Not to say that artwork solely has social or political meaning, but that is a huge category or artwork that is constantly being made worldwide. One Cuban American interviewee, Norberto Rodriguez states, “ Culture hasn’t been allowed to thrive. Until now, you’ve had artists working with two hands and two legs tied behind their back. But that is going to change”. Rodriguez seems to be very optimistic about the mindset change that is going to happen within many Cuban artists. He goes on to say, “You have some brilliant artists who have the potential to affect culture in a really universal way, to move culture forward”. These artists can take this huge role upon themselves to demand freedom of speech within their art if they choose to.

Since Fidel Castro’s brother, Raul is still in power, the opportunity to create more art and culture in their community isn’t necessarily a newfound freedom just yet for the Cuban artists. But the ideas of freedom are definitely going to be a major influence for many future creations in my opinion. Many people have lived their whole lives under Fidel’s dictatorship and hopefully can soon get a glimpse into a whole new lifestyle and contribute to their own culture by creating some beautiful, censor-less artwork.