20 May 2013
By Ignacio Estrada Cepero, Independent Journalist
Havana, Cuba: The Cuban graffiti artist Daniel Maldonado known as “El Sexto” (The Sixth*) has recently plastered his signature in different places along the central 23rd Avenue.
23rd Street in the capital municipality of Plaza, is the site chosen by the Cuban artist recognized for graffiti, to leave his autograph in protest against those who have recently been erasing his work in different public places.
According to recent statements from the artist he is trying to retake the streets again this year and to show that despite government censorship he will continue giving Cuban the gift of a genuine work without government contamination. Recently in a conversation Danilo Maldonado said “…if these little guys keep crossing out my stuff, I will continue crossing out theirs…”
One of the recent signs of El Sexto’s authorship is just a few yards from the central corner of 23rd and L, a writing that reaffirms his will and I quote “…This is my path… Going down…”**
*”El Sexto” takes his moniker — “The Sixth” — as a take off from the “Cuban Five” — five admitted Cuban spies imprisoned in the U.S. and lionized in Cuba (one of the 5 is now on parole).
*”Este calle es de Fidel!” — This street belongs to Fidel — is a slogan commonly used in Cuba in support of the government; it is often shouted at repudiation rallies against dissidents such as the Ladies in White and others. El Sexto’s take off is “This street/path/way is mine…”
January 21 2013
The graffiti artist Danilo Maldonado Machado EL SEXTO (Phone +53-53798491) is tatooed with the a living tribute on his skin of the image of Oswaldo Payá Sardiñias (1952-2012), leader and founder of the Christian Liberation Movement and author of the Varela Project to reform the Cuban socialist system. The music is from the CD Concepts and Principles by Silvito The Free, son of the singer-songwriter working in the past, Silvio Rodriguez.
September 13 2012
Translator’s note: A passport having no practical use in Cuba if you cannot qualify for the coveted White Card — the exit permit all Cubans need to be able to travel outside their country — El Sexto decided to use his passport as a canvas. And then created this video.
21 May 2012
Since Raul Castro created the position of Comptroller of the Republic a current of panic runs through all the governmental administrative authorities. The cases of corruption, irregularities, diversion of resources and lack of control of state assets emerge like mushrooms after a rain.
However, despite having raised a war against secrecy in the press, the official media does not bring to light either the amount of the damages nor the names of those responsible. Periodically, the rumors, with their quota of inaccuracy or exaggeration, serve to make known the “exploitations,” always accompanied by the little details where we hear of lovers, swimming pools, wine cellars, luxury cars, and all the irresistible temptations — which lead them to perdition — of the old militant Communists, veterans of revolutionary battles, former senior officers, all highly trusted people.
It’s not worth going into the details, especially if they are not confirmed by reliable sources, but it does make sense to ask how is it possible that after half a century of Communist education and countless selective filters, the cadres of different levels continue to have the same appetites enshrined in the old bourgeois morality?
What is wrong? Is it the nature of man himself, or a system based on a profound mistake?
I have the impression that the cases uncovered are not divulged precisely so that citizens do not ask this question; so that they will continue to believe that all is well and that we are on the right path toward higher goals and not will not perceive the swamp nor the fatal attraction that arises from its depths.
22 May 2012
3 May 2012
Whenever I’m bored I try so hard to get out of that state that I think of a new hobby. It seems that boredom makes us aware of the routine, like becoming fully aware of something that is repeated over and over again. So our perception, desperately thirsty for something interesting, goes hunting. I for one think that I sometimes find something to quench the thirst of my attention, but many others, I’m not very aware of it.
I say this because the other day I happened to read a poem by Borges, The Golem. Borges says that the rose being a flower with thorns, leaves, green and red colors, etc. and is reduced to “rose” … and the whole length of the Nile is in the word “Nile.”
I wondered if I could, like a computer program, compiling a lump of things and reduce them to a few non-repeating expressions. To what point could I reduce almost everything to just a symbol or sound?
So it occurred to me to reduce all the speeches of Fidel, of Raul, their crimes, the collapses in the city, the country, the dead, the unpunished abuse of the Ladies in White, all the injustices, the lack of expression, the relentless aging of the rulers, their politics, the real and practical sense of communism, all the hunger and the 53 years of senseless repetition until they become rather boring, all those things in the word, and are just as comical and grotesque onomatopoeia like the sounds of vomiting. Buag: I think that sound could describe it.
4 April 2012