Under the Chimney / Yoani Sanchez

Photo: Luz Escobar

Photo: Luz Escobar

The trajectory of a place is always a mystery, its possibilities a mystery. The soaring chimney of El Cocinero will soon shelter another kind of process, less industrial, but more creative. In a few days its main facility will open as a space for concerts, exhibitions, fashion shows and performances.

Havana was missing its “Rote Fabrik,” one of those sites where sweat and production once played their part that now vibrates with musical notes, the audacity of artists and the applause of the public. Art taking over what was once purely industrial territory. Thanks to X Alfonso, this absence is about to be filled. The singer has been deeply involved in preparing this place with an enormous potential but in desperate need of repair. It is the culmination of months of hard work.

Red brick over red brick, soaring ceilings and a roof with an unusual view of over the mouth of the Almendares River.

“This will be a site that doesn’t quit,” the ingenious author of disks like Reverse and Revoluxíon has declared. While he says this he’s wearing pants splattered with cement and putting the finishing touches on his new creation.

This time he has not composed the soundtrack for a movie nor won a Goya for it. However, on seeing his project through he will have the gratitude of many here in Havana and countless Cubans.

10 February 2014