Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Arts

Megan Clark
Reporting from Havana

The arts are so important to the Cuban people. It is not hard to see this right away. As you are walking down the streets in Havana you are surrounded by paintings, sculptures, dancing, singing, and so much more. You are submerging yourself in a whole other world, it is unlike anything I have ever seen. The paintings are filled with such detail and emotion, you feel like you are in that place and time. The streets fill up with dancing at night time as you are listening to music being played at a restaurant. Whether it’s children dancing in the street during the day trying to practice for their dance class, people dancing in the street while enjoying the music being played all around, or everyone enjoying the music and dancing at a club, the Cubans’ love to dance! Our tour guide said whenever he hears music he feels the need to move his hips and dance. Over the period of the trip I began to see the arts play a major role in the life of the Cuban people. It is a way of allowing them to express how they are feeling in a way that they can.

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            As I was walking through Parque Central, I came across this man who began talking to me. I have never been much into the arts myself, but this man, Vladimir Bellot, made my mind tick. He had such a passion for the arts. As he was looking around he had a very inquisitive mind, asking me what I thought of the sculptures in the park. There was a sculpture in the middle of the park, José Martí with his arm stretched far ahead pointing to something. Vladimir had asked me what this meant, I had not a clue. I do not have a creative mind. He began to explain the importance of this sculpture, explaining that he was a very important figure and a Cuban national hero. He was a writer who explored many different writing styles such as poems, letters, essays, lectures and novels. The sculptor was not just a man pointing straight ahead, it meant so much more. It was about pointing to the future, for a more promising time ahead.

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                Unlike the U.S., the people of Cuba indulge themselves in the arts; they pride themselves in the things that they accomplish and are proud of the many forms of art that are so prevalent. “Do anything that relates to art, it will make you a happier person, anything can be art! It can be as simple as putting a few words together to create a poem, or it can be making a big powerful sculpture, just don’t give up on art” Vladimir Bellot. It’s so easy for us to look past art and continue on with our busy lives, it was very refreshing to see a country so invested in its arts.

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