HAVANA TIMES, Dec, 18 – The OMNI-Zona Franca poetry performance collective made its traditional pilgrimage on Thursday to the Sanctuary of San Lazaro, in the Havana suburb of El Rincon, during which time there were no reported attempts to interfere with or obstruct them.
Yesterday’s pilgrimage is part of the “Eleventh International Poetry Without End Festival,” an event organized annually by the arts group. This year, however, they are holding the festival without institutional support.
On December 11, the OMNI-Zona Franca collective was expelled from its headquarters in the Alamar Gallery under government order.
In that its regular State-supported activities were also “cancelled,” the group has since decided to carry out its festival independently of official institutions. The arts gala is continuing in private homes, garages and Havana streets under the slogan “Poetry will be created by everyone.”
In terms of its march, according to group coordinator and poet Luis Eligo PM Cafria, some 100 people headed off on the pilgrimage at noon from its starting point at the Ciudad Deportiva sports complex, while 80 made it to El Rincon by 6:30 that evening.
Participants in the march rotated carrying a giant stick on their shoulders (the object was about the size of a person and represented a tool used to open up paths in forests). In this case the implement was said to be “for the health of Cuban poetry and the hidden energy of people.”
The march dovetailed with a popular pilgrimage of devotees of San Lazaro, who on this same day celebrate that saint by going to El Rincón to request and receive promises for their health and the health of their loved ones.