By Armando Chaguaceda
An old Chinese proverb recalls that a single picture speaks a thousand words. The mosaic of pictures that we present below is an assemblage of part of the symbolic political spectrum of Cuba today. Some are fruit of the propaganda produced in the print shops of the Party; these are in the form of billboards (1, 2, 5, 6), or for public thoroughfares and official convocations to marches (7). Others represent the creation of popular collectives (8) and artist workshops (3, 4).
Looking at them reminds me of moments when images like these accompanied our doubt, anger, choices and hopes. I think-given the impressive educational level and cultural demands of my compatriots-of their reactions to the messages that these materials transmit, be they humdrum or suggestive.
My eyes move back and forth between so many values and diverse ideals, overlapped or opposed: discipline and autonomy, creativity and simplification, celebration and sacrifice, militarism and citizenship, renovation and idolization, age and youth, simulation and commitment, triumphalist and criticism.
At their edges overflow diversity made invisible, harassed autonomy, and spontaneity deadened by bureaucratic inertia. Here sprouts those tender rose buds, the inheritance of Jose Marti’s notion of justice, sovereignty and freedom, which we must continue to water, transplant and protect.