Fidel Castro Reappears “in his Dead Body” in… Hong Kong

By Cafe Fuerte

Part of the Summit project by Chinese artist Shen Shaomin.

HAVANA TIMES — The image that Fidel Castro and his closest watchmen in the Cuban government wanted to avoid at his funeral, is now part of the artistic reality of a famous fair in Hong Kong.

A sculpture of Fidel Castro’s corpse (or sleeping body?), lying on a bed of white sheets in his olive-green uniform, is part of the Summit project by Chinese artist Shen Shaomin, who has recreated the images of other Communist leaders who are now history: Vladimir Lenin, Mao Zedong, Kim Il-Sung and Ho Chi Minh.

These leaders of yesteryear now lie in a Summit of Silence at the crowded Art Basel fair in Hong Kong.

An international wake

Or maybe it’s an opportunity to hold a wake “with the body present” which the Cuban people in Cuba didn’t see.

Shaomin, who lives in Australia, has formulated his project with questions looking to the future: “At a time when the entire world is drawn towards the vortex of economic crisis and doubts have arisen about the inherent values of capitalism, this work asks the following questions: are the ideas and ideals of these disappeared Socialist leaders still relevant? Will their ideas, concepts and theories reflect our sensibilities some day?”

The exhibition will remain open to the public on March 23-25th. On Monday and Tuesday, these works could only be visited by those with private invitations or special assignments.

It will be a virtual way of imagining what Fidel Castro’s funeral, which never took place, would have been like.

Immediate Cremation

When the announcement of Fidel Castro’s death had been made on the night of November 25th, his brother and president of Cuba, Raul Castro, announced that he would be immediately cremated as it was his dying wish. The cremation took place immediately.

Cubans paid tribute to the former leader in front of a photo of Castro dressed as a guerrilla soldier with a rifle on his shoulder, while his ashes remained in an urn in a State Council room, which family members and selected people from the government elite had access to, until they traveled in a funeral car across the country.

Fidel Castro’s ashes were finally buried in the Santa Ifigenia cementery in Santiago de Cuba, next to the monument to national hero Jose Marti.

There aren’t any photographs or witness accounts saying they’ve seen Castro’s corpse, who apparently died at his home in Punto Cero, Havana.

5 thoughts on “Fidel Castro Reappears “in his Dead Body” in… Hong Kong

  • During the Victorian Era parents would often have their deceased children posed by photographers in life-like scenes (sitting in chairs, lying on couches, even sitting at little tables, having tea-parties with their still-living siblings)! If this sort of thing is your, err, cup-of-tea, there are numerous examples on YouTube. I’d much rather remember Fidel depicted in the midst of life, like delivering the “Second Declaration of Habana,” or entering Habana in January, 1959, rather than on his death bed.

  • Biased? I hate discrimination and injustice. I am biased toward equality of opportunity and freedom. Cruel? Not in the least bit, except at chess. I take no prisoners when I play chess. Pro-Batista? I’m not sure who that is? If you are referring to the former dictator of Cuba, then no. I am against dictatorships of the left and the right. Cute? You betcha!

  • You’re cute, biased, cruel, and pro-Batista to the core…right, Moses?

  • With the exception of Kim Il Sung all the other dictator’s countries became
    capitalistic markets. But this fact doesn’t make Castro a twin of the Korean monster. My favorite still is Ho (uncle) Chi Minh. His statue in former Saigon stays today in front of a Ralph Lauren store. History sometimes is funny.

  • I’m pretty sure that the Cuban leadership didn’t want the image of a wooden stake driven through the heart of the Eternal Leader to be the last public image of Fidel. Oh wait, that’s for vampires, right? How do zombies die again?

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