PHOTOS: Orlando (Pardo) poster: Rolando (Pulido)
CAN YOU HEAR THE DRUMS, FERNANDO?
Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo
This year, 2010, a lot of things will be defined in quasi-cultural Cuba. The fate of certain private art exhibition spaces, for example. The fate of certain digital publications cornered between permits and panics, for example. The fate of the Festival of Rotilla, beachhead of freedom unimaginable in any Cuban city. The fate of the group of performers and poets OMNI ZONA FRANCA, for example, who have been stuck between a rock and a hard place: the Deputy Minister of Culture Fernando Rojas and State Security (forgive the redundancy).
White Píter Ortega and Desiderio Navarro, for example, threaten to kill each other with expert thrusts, the uncivil elves of OMNI ZONA FRANCA are being gagged every day by the knotted rope of our lack of intellectual solidarity. It is not any shitty ministry in El Vedado that has killed them, they are muted by the insolent lack of culture of our nation. It’s not the police in the pay of the static State that has shut them up, we have soundproofed them ourselves; we do not deserve this amazing phenomenon of a decade of urban action and radical love.
There is no room in cuba for OMNI ZONA FRANCA. The government’s war against them is not open, but shameless. Zen/sorship. Confiscations, Threats. Partial permits. Pressure on third parties. Exclusions. Shouting officials. The dirty rag of the neighborhood or the military card. Histeria of the community rats. Attempts to erase the emotional map of our Havana in the mire… In Cuba OMNI ZONA FRANCA will never fit. There is no room for the light of joy in such a gloomy town, between the fantatacism and fear of the wrath of a Premier always ignored even by Washington, etymological enemy that has forced him into the ridicule of a living condemned to the perpetual hope of an unlikely invasion.
OMNI ZONA FRANCA was a breath of peace. Videos. Graffiti. Voice. Musicalia. Remix. Communion. Procession. Gospel that not even the Cuban churches have been able to imitate. That’s why we hate them.For their spontaneity. Their improvisation. For being a true minority in the lotus position, who corrupt the hypocrisy of our city of white guys dragging their CDs and kicking ass in the latest model Chinese car.
If the Cuban cultural camp doesn’t proceed immediately with a reaction of sufficient violence (a flower in the air could be enough, also a thousand signatures on a petition). OMNI ZONA FRANCA will see their freedom of expression tangled in some legal complication to the point of ending it. The squad of crazy clearheaded ones that made the cenotaph called Alamar a more breathable niche is on the point of disappearing. Like the dinosaurs, we are letting them disappear under our aesthetic noses. And we are so cowardly that we put our hand in the fire to receive at least a peck of official blind man’s buff.
The OMNI ZONA FRANCA have every right not legislated in Cuba to continue being social beings here and now. The pariahs are the public bureaucrats who know no communications logic other than espionage and blackmail.
OMNI ZONA FRANCA made us laugh and sing to everyone, without ever asking if we were one of the so many provocateurs surrounding them in each “acting,” like State wolves lacking the talent to roam the steppes.
OMNI ZONA FRANCA do not deserve the moral solitude in which we abandon them while giving them a hug and an “everything will work out,” or “it’s better to wait…”
It’s either now or now. Their political art will not long survive the red bullets of officialdom.
OMNI ZONA FRANCA, is the stuttering drum of my words: for you I bring them closer to the public pillory so that the Ministry of Culture will exile them sometime; for you I offer also my heart without cuirass, compañeros, so that the brutal boot of all these organizations they already don’t want to know you will finally attack me (or face the consequences of whiplash from my heartbeats).
August 1, 2010