Culture in Pinar del Río at the center of society

Sincere, transparent and fraternal can be classified the dialogue held between the members of Uneac and the candidates for deputies to the National Assembly of People’s Power for the municipality of Pinar del Río.

An exchange in which collective construction for a better province and country was the starting point. The presence of Abel Prieto, currently president of Casa de las Américas and who was Minister of Culture for several years, made the conversation a space in which, openly, they talked about how Cuba needs a cultural transformation that defends the most authentic of their patriotic values, their idiosyncrasy and that also guarantees the future.


Carolina Mora, a member of Uneac and a teacher for several generations at the Pedagogical School, referred to a concern that may be that of many: “I am Cuban to the core, without options; I live with young people day by day and when they come to us they do so with systematized negative patterns, and psychology says that it is much more difficult to uninstall than to establish new patterns.

“If I tell you about Dulce María Loynaz and I tell you that she was the daughter of a general from the ’95 war, author of the Invasor Anthem, they don’t know, they don’t know the Anthem, and that must be reinforced in schools, from elementary school ”, he pointed out, at the same time that he was seriously interested in the granting of pedagogical careers, today given to the massiveness, despite the strategic importance they have.

In this regard, Nelson Simón, president of Uneac in the province, argued that the most difficult thing to replace are human distortions: “We drag years of deformations, due to the deep crisis in which this country has been plunged for years.” 90. A crisis in the world and from which we cannot escape, but the transformation that we bring about in this country has to be a cultural transformation, we have to refound this country culturally, and I am talking about training, education”.

Nelson added that it was promoted for years that it was not produced and that everyone could be engineers or teachers, and the field was then seen as something behind the times.

“As our President has repeated, the blockade will always be there and we have to jump over it; we have to be a sufficient country capable of developing by ourselves. Look for ways to recover the field, production and industry, “said the writer.

“We need a deep cultural transformation in which we sow again, and in which the extremely important and essential role of the school is recovered, grounded in these times, which goes through the landing of technology and because today a school cannot be like in the `60s. Today a school has to be open to technology, to communication and teachers have to make that leap.

“In this battle there is also the family, which got lost along the way, and there are the media, with many deficiencies, and which today compete with the world’s media, because the information is available to everyone. I’m not just talking about the package we thought was a threat, no. The threat is the Internet, the threat is the globalization of knowledge, the globalization of information”.

On this, Abel Prieto pointed out that a critical distance must be created and an evaluation capacity of this type of phenomenon and maintain a responsible presence in social networks: “I believe that the cultural setback is not only of Cuba, but of the world. A matter that civilization will pay dearly for.

“Fidel said, ‘we cannot train the citizens of the present and the future in a glass urn, we have to train them out in the open, receiving all the viruses and all the contamination. Form values ​​in young people that serve as an antidote to everything that comes from toxic’”, recalled the president of Casa de las Américas.

The subject of the formation of the new generations attracts him on time: “It cannot be that a young person does not know and sing the Invasor Anthem. And, on the other hand, we must rescue the traditions. The popular Cuban does not have to be vulgar, there a strange confusion is created that degrades us; we have grown a marginal language, it may be that two girls while playing say a ‘cuss word’. It has a lot to do with the role of the family, of the school in the first grades, and there are the properties that have not helped.

“It is a spiritual climate. Díaz-Canel spoke to us about marginality, banality, rudeness, tackiness, and against all of this we have to work.”


What worries the artists of Pinar? What are your challenges, your desires, your ideas to make this terroir a better place?

Without turning the dialogue into a balance assembly, they put on the table what are, in the opinion of the members of Uneac, their main challenges in these troubled times.

‘”We put up a lion’s fight for monkey’, because we do not have our own platforms that help us promote music if you are not associated with a record label and that is a gap that remains,” said Yusley Izquierdo, president of the AHS in Pinar .

“Sometimes we go through our city and we have closed cultural institutions and it happens to us because with an insufficient budget, we prioritize other things and not precisely the programming of the institution that legitimizes. Sometimes we decide whether to go to a community or do the programming at the institution, and we prioritize the presentation abroad. Why don’t we put that bus one day and bring the children of the community to the theater so they can discover it with its lights, with the magic it has.

“How many artists today do not contribute to the Pinar del Río context. There are guys who are going, but they don’t come back. And it also happens in the media that has been discussed here. Today in Pinar del Río journalists and communicators are not trained; most of the artists who work in the media are formed by habilitation courses. The media for a long time have been away from the academy, and it is necessary to study the Theories of Communication”.

Finally, he summarized: “I think it is important that young people feel that they can do their work in Pinar del Río, but we all have to think about that. You have to take advantage of that enthusiasm; It is important that the boys do not lose that desire to do things”.

For his part, for Reynaldo León, director of Teatro de la Utopia, addressing the policy of cadres in the Culture sector is an urgent issue today: “More than 10 years ago we pointed out the problems that were looming in Artistic Education and in Today we have them, this is mortgaging the future that is not tomorrow, it is today. We are reaping the fruits of a poor placement of tables in the face of complex processes.

“If we do not apply the policy of cadres as indicated by the Party, the people of Pinar del Río are going to fail in the cultural field.”

Yuliet Montes, actress of Teatro de la Utopia, pointed out that we must unite wills so that the groups are no longer the ones that close their doors. Meanwhile, Tamara Campos, a plastic artist, spoke of the importance of having a street for artists in the city, a wish that is already a reality in other territories.

“He talked about a space where artists come together, where writers, musicians, and actors can arrive and can dialogue with those in plastic arts. We are not going to wait to see the work when it arrives at the gallery or the museum, we are going to see how a work is born”.

With a large committee of about 296 artists, Uneac in Pinar del Río reinvents itself every day, looks for ways to have a better city and works accordingly.

In the dialogue, the artists’ support for a united vote remained as a premise, knowing that elections are a democratic and decolonizing exercise, as several associates have pointed out, that promotes a liberating, critical, and transformative spirituality.

Culture in Pinar del Río at the center of society – Guerrilla Newspaper