Voces 4: Unstoppable / Miguel Iturria Savón

As an end of year gift, the fourth edition of the magazine Voces is now circulating on the ‘Net, located at www.vocescubanas.com/voces and presented this past 26th of December in the apartment of Yoani Sánchez and Reinaldo Escobar, founders of the Cuban Blogger Academy, which has published these pages without censorship since August, far from official mandates and political factions.

In the same way as the previous issues, Voces bets on the freedom of expression from a position of freshness and originality. Its format includes texts from 20 authors on 60 pages, with cartoons by Belén Cerros, blogger “La Vida Agridulce”, the index and back pages designs of Rolando Pulido, and composition in the care of writer and photographer Orlando Luís Pardo Lazo, responsible for drawings and figures that match up games with letters, arrows, and numbers that create suggestive blank spaces which compensate for the simplicity and absence of sections, footnotes, authors’ notes, and editorial fluff.

Voces 4 deals with themes and figures that cover the vastness of interests of those who approach the Cuban from cyberspace. Exiled and unexiled voices that measure the island’s space in its connection with the world: social, political, and cultural problems, poems, book reviews, narrative pieces, chronicles and current analyses, such as “Truth as Life’s Logic”, which constitutes the communique-denunciation of Hip Hop Patriot Squadron, with which the magazine ends.

It starts with the essay of Vicente Echerri “About a Fractured Identity”, which analyzes the destruction — and the transformation — of the Cuban nation, the identity to which we cling; the abolition of the social contract and other problems that change triumphalist visions of the island’s future.

The sociopolitical theme is approached with critical and polemic sense in texts such as “Cuban Socialism: Juggling At The Edge of The Abyss”, from Reinaldo Escobar, who reports on General Castro’s discussion before the regime’s Parliament; “In Defense of Wikileaks”, from Ernesto Fernández Busto; while Iván de la Nuez offers “Politics: Humanity’s Heritage?”, while Rosa Maria Rodríguez Torrado chips away with “The Honey of Power, Reforms, and Plantation?”, and José Gabriel Barrenechea asks “Is Reform Beginning?”.

Poetry, better dealt with than in the previous edition, brings us four unpublished works, two from the dramatist and narrator Abilio Estévez, who bequeaths “Of the Gods/Of the Tightrope Walker”; while Feliz Luis Viera gives us two unpublished poems from “The Fatherland is an Orange”, one about whores and the other around the notion of a fatherland.

The diverse narrative gallops through the testimony of Yoani Sánchez (“Country Girl of Havana Center”); the travel chronicle “In Puerto Plaza, Without a Visa”, by Armando Añel; the story “In the Office”, by Mabel Cuesta, and the fiction of Omar Alfonso Requena — “A Probable Vasumitra”. Jorge Enrique Lage’s “Flash Forward”, the 12 posts of the anonymous Zorphdark and 19 untitled vignettes from Orlando Luís Pardo Lazo, who fantasizes about his encounter with Aki, a Japanese girl who serves him under the pretext of offering her enlightening writings about love and existential aloneness.

Voces 4 includes, in its turn, four pieces of literary and cultural criticism. Tania Favela broaches “The Temptations of Lucio Gaitán”, reviews the book “An Old Trip” by Manuel Periera; also described by Eliseo Alberto, who dedicates the title “Favorable Wind” to it. To Miguel Iturria Savón is owed “The Carnival and the Dead”, about the novel of the same name by Ernesto Santana, Kafka Prize of 2010. While Néstor Díaz de Villegas surprises us with “The Philosophy of T-Che”, where he compares the legend of Jim Morrison — “false idol of a liberation theology” — with the market imperatives that the images of Che, Scarface, and other contemporary icons impose.


Translated by: JT

January 12 2011