HAVANA TIMES — I remember a few years ago when I was running late to hand in my entry for an erotic literature competition, and when I reached the institution which received the works, the receptionist told me to go up to a floor where a pre-selection of works is first made before handing over the ones that will enter the competition to the jury, who are then responsible for choosing a winner, and giving special mentions.
This event caught my attention and I asked myself if those who were carrying out the pre-selection of works were really qualified to choose works of erotic literature, taking into account the fact that the people I found in that room choosing were three older ladies, who probably weren’t up-to-date with new literary trends or who would see stories full of homoerotic situations or dirty realism in an unfavorable light.
I guess that many quality works were left out of this competition due to this procedure.
I can’t understand why all the entries received can’t be sent directly to the jury, so that they read them themselves and decide whether they have any literary value or not.
The same thing happens in the plastic arts. And I’ll give you a personal example, not too long ago I took one of my erotic art pieces to the Farraluque competition, which takes place every year at the Fayad Jami gallery, and in the first round of selections, my work was rejected by the gallery’s art experts because they thought it was vulgar. After that pre-selection, it was sent to the storeroom.
Once, the selection had been carried out and the works which would be exhibited in the gallery to be given awards were decided, the main jury came into play, and at some point they became interested in seeing the works that had been ruled out of the competition. In the end, the jury remarked that if my photograph had been among the works selected, it would have received a prize.
Procedures like those I have described have made me not want to participate in any competitions that take place on the island where I was born.
Luckily, these situations haven’t stopped me from wanting to create, and although I no longer send my work to competitions, my work continues to grow, and that’s the way it will be until the day I close my eyes forever.