Loose in Havana, Gandalf and Elton John / Yoani Sanchez


The Poster for British Week in Havana

London has come to Havana. During this week of British Culture that is celebrated from the first of June in our country, even the climate has decided to be in sync with that of the other Island. Grey skies, drizzle, mist at dawn. All we lack is the silhouette of Sherlock Holmes sneaking around a corner or a magician knocking with this staff on the wood of our door. They are days of great music and a chance to appreciate unusual schedule in the movie theaters. Since last Tuesday they have been showing a selection that includes the 2013 Oscar winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man, and also the biographical film Marley, about the life of the famous reggae singer and composer. The selection of cartoons for kids and teens will probably attract a good audience at a time when many are on vacation from school.

I have been enjoying some of the programming not only for me but also for many others. Especially thinking about those young Cubans , or forty years ago, secretly listened to an English quartet which the official media now play everywhere. The striking colors and the design of the poster for this “British Week” has evoked for me the iconography of the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland, and also the delightful adventurers in the Yellow Submarine. So some of us have also taken it as a tribute to those battered Beatlemaniacs from back then. These days, however, the greatest comfort comes from the window cracked open to let in this fresh air that comes to us from the outside. This gift of sensing that culture can make the Atlantic seem narrower, the passing years shorter, the losses recoverable.

5 June 2013