Medium: Installation, mixed media including photography and sound
This installation conveys an idea of the charged atmosphere surrounding a politically organised event. It examines the last million person demonstration organised on the Malecón in Havana, Cuba just before Fidel Castro retired from power. The demonstrations were aimed at the United States and ended in front of the former US Embassy. They attempted to show popular support for the Cuban government and display its organising power. Unsurprisingly, the United States and its allies portrayed the demonstrations very differently.
The installation combines actual objects from the demonstration, Cuban flags and an anti-American poster along with photos of the demonstration and press articles concerning the event. On one wall, is shown the version publicised by Cuba and its allies. On the opposing wall, is the version propagated in the American and Western press. The two versions would seem to describe two completely differently events and political realities. Only the Caribbean press acknowledged and attempted to find a balanced view of the two perspectives. An example of this is on a third wall.
At the entrance to the installation, visitors can take a Cuban flag identical to the ones in the demonstration. Circulating in the space with the flags, visitors intermingle with the flags overhead as if they were participants in the demonstration.
When on the Malecón, one of its most salient characteristics is the sound of the Caribbean beating against the sea wall that protects it. Eventually, the wall will cede and the Malecón will inevitably fall into the sea. Similarly, the passions that ignite political confrontations fade with time and the passing of generations such as that of the Cuban revolutionaries and the American Cold Warriors.
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