Partisans Against Those in Power / Luis Felipe Rojas

Porno Para Ricardo, independent Cuban Punk Rock Group

Someone gave me a copy of the documentary “Partisan of Music“. In addition to its impeccable execution of presenting us with pathways to self-discovery, the filmmaker worthily captures the stories of a rock group from Belarus. They are underground guys who have decided, after countless arrests and beatings, to confront soldiers and approach their own compatriots to share a symphony of rock which offers them a crack of hope amid an iron-fist dictatorship. A few years ago, Mioslav Dembinski exposed these stories before the eyes of spectators around the world, and now Cubans who manage to get their hands on this project cannot help but draw comparisons.

Belorussian public spaces, much like in Cuba, are occupied by the militia in order to impede demonstrations of discontent and musicians from obtaining permits to carry out street concerts. And so the authorities break up protests through beatings and they take musicians and public figures down to police units. These are methods which are all linked to each other and which describe the dictatorships, which despite being thousands of miles in distance from one another, are very close when it comes to the pretext of forbidding fundamental rights of citizens.

In Cuba, neither the punk rock group Porno para Ricardo nor the rappers Los Aldeanos, Eskuadron Patriota and other similar acts who all share irreverent and non-conformist tendencies, have been able to enjoy impunity. The lyrics of Aldo Padron, Ciro, and Gorki Aguila are missiles against censorship. The art performances of Tania Bruguera, the artistic installations of Jose Angel Vincenth — though silent but sustained — as well as other writers and independent artists can enamor the majority masses more sooner than later.

In “Partisans of Music“, one of the candidates of the opposition which has stood up against the dreadful Lukashenko runs up on stage and shares the irreverence of a group of rockers with fuchsia colored hair. They do this without being suspicious of one another and without attacking each other’s bravery. They just did so to shout, together with the inflamed masses: “Welcome, I am the future of Belarus“, a syllogism which would do us all some good.

Translated by Raul G.

21 november 2011