We are aware that Cuban culture is in the spotlight due to President Obama's historical announcement that Cuba and the U.S. will restore diplomatic ties. Yet Afro-Cubans continue to face marginalization, particularly in the traditional arts world and we are interested in highlighting Afro-Cuban artists and projects we feel passionate about here. Additionally we want to challenge the notion that working in Afro-Atlantic traditional aesthetics and art forms are not contemporary or an important part of shifting racism, sexism, homophobia and creating just societies in our hemisphere.
Directorio de Afrocubanas - This is an online resource cataloguing Afro-Cuban women not just in the arts but in politics, science, sports and more, we hope to catalogue women born in the U.S. of Afro-Cuban descent as well one day!!
Brenda Navarette - As a Precussionist/Singer/Dancer this young brilliant talent is moving barriers as a Afro-Cuban percussionist in the jazz, traditional and contemporary music worlds. Her path is in part paved by her equally talented sister, Melvis Santa.
Black and Latino - This short film is extremely important as a testimonial and educational resource on Afrolatinidad in the United States. Six of the few entertainers interviewed are of Afro-Cuban descent: Gina Torres, Laz Alonzo, Soledad O'Brien, Mimi Valdez and Christina Millian. This is Gina Torres extended interview.
Coco Fusco - As an Interdisciplinary Performance Artist & Scholar Fusco is one of the most important cultural critics of our times and had created a stunning body of work that probes our perceptions of the "other" and has also just completed a book on performance art in Cuba. This is an excerpt from Observations of Predation in Humans: A Lecture by Dr. Zira, Animal Psychologist (2013) at the Studio Museum in Harlem.
Creative Time - Coco Fusco presents "A Room Of One's Own: Women and Power in the New America"
Las Krudas Cubensi - Not only known for spitting, sharp politicized lyrics that place women at the center of their concern and societal critique, the now duo, originally featured Afro-Cuban lyricists and sisters Odaymara Pasa Kruda and Wanda Cuesta Kruda as well as Olivia Prendes. Check out their website for shows and workshops in Austin, TX where they are now based here.
Yesenia Selier Fernandez - is a scholar/dancer born in Havana, Cuba now living in West New York, NJ earning a PhD at NYU in Media and Cultural Studies. She teaches and performs Afro-Cuban dance in New York, Miami, Cuba and around the U.S. She is also mother to triplets who are talented visual artists.