Translation from the Convivencia website.
December 1 2011
Translation from the Convivencia website.
December 1 2011
CONVIVENCIA (COEXISTENCE) LITERARY CONTEST II – 2011
Prize in the Photography category:
The jury decides, unanimously, to award the prize in the genre of Photography to the series titled: Desconocido (Unknown), by the Cuban author, Alberto Borrego Sánchez, of San Cristóbal, Artemisa province.
By judicious selection of settings, use of bold and contemporary content, with a social approach committed to its environment, without devaluing in the least the quality of photography as art. As a set of pieces, strung together with a mark of style, where the sepia tones and the mood of hieratic reality shown are utilized according to the messages revealed in the works.
Prize in the Essay category:
The jury decided unanimously to award the prize in this area to the work presented with the title: Until the End of the Exclusions, by the Cuban author Orlando Freire Santana, native of Cerro, Havana province.
For the social and contemporary effectiveness of its analysis, which treats different settings (the Island and its Diaspora). It is not limited to a simple dissection of the political agenda in recent years, but explores the social-ethical and individual background of our existence as a nation; it stands out for its powerfully communicative paragraphs, manifested Cubanness, citizen reference and commitment to its thesis.
By a majority, the jury decided not to award the prize in the Story category, in this edition of the contest.
General Poetry Prize:
In this literary genre, after a sharp and deep analysis of the outstanding works presented, the jury decided, unanimously, to award the prize to the work: Room of One Day, by the Cuban author Francis Sánchez, of Ciego de Ávila.
For the music of the universal language and encouragement reborn in its verses, in which one finds words released from the depths, like a weaving of clarities that transcend the collective suffering and nostalgia for living in a time already in the past. Significant in this collection are the social nuances of the magnetic messages.
In this same genre, we also agreed unanimously to grant an honorable mention to the notebook of poems Exact Room, from the author Mojena Miguel Angel Hernandez, Candelaria, province Artemis. It is proposed to publish some of his writings in Convivencia Magazine. For this decision, we have taken into account the organic nature of the book, the beauty of poetic images, and the intimate nature of its parts.
Meeting in Pinar del Rio, with the Convivencia Board, July 27, 2011.
THE JURY (in alphabetical order):
Henry Constantín Ferreiro
Maikel Iglesias Rodríguez
Jesuhadín Pérez Valdés
July 28 2011
By Sironay Gonzalez Rodriguez
How good I feel when knowing that I am doing the right thing, even when the majority contradicts me or avoids any comment so as not to be implicated. I like to be on the opposite side, I feel good being apart from the mass.
My biggest commitment is with the truth. With it I walk with my head up and I am not afraid, because the fear is for those who are attached to dogmas and live in the obligation of being servile although they don’t understand a thing. I give myself to a noble cause, justice, and for it I will be fighting with all the known peaceful means while God gives me strength.
I believe in the power of the small, in the capacity that people still have (although they don’t notice it) to love.
Sironay Gonzalez Rodriguez
San Cristobal, Artemisa. 1976
Translated by Adrian Rodriguez
June 30 2011
By Dagoberto Valdes and the Editorial Board
In editorial No. 14 of Convivencia Magazine (www.convivenciacuba.es) of March-April 2010, we said that:
The last two milestones with this sad reality have been: The closing down of Pedro Pablo Oliva’s studio in Pinar del Rio last May 14, 2011 and the “cancellation” of the enrollment and grades earned over two years, by the blogger from Camagüey Henry Constatin, who is also a member of the editorial boards of the magazines Voces and Convivencia and who participates in the preparation of the serial Citizens’ Reasons, an audiovisual space for independent debates that address different aspects of our national life. Both decisions damage noticeably the spirituality and creativeness of the Cuban nation. So we expressed in the afore-mentioned editorial only a year ago.
“Those who blockade the cultural world, those who gag the arts, those who uglify beauty and turn off the lights of letters and the truthfulness of dreams for freedom, for justice and for love in Cuba, are crossing a very dangerous red line: Not only are they repressing the artists’ creativity, and the honesty of the intellectuals, or the sincerity of the communicators, but also they are repressing the nation’s soul. Those who repress the soul of the people in order to try, unsuccessfully, to smother the motions of the human spirit, are inflicting the greatest of anthropological damage on their citizens, fatally wounding the spiritual stability of the nation and executing it by means of the irreparable slope of violence, which nobody wants.”
On the now closed door of Pedro Pablo Oliva’s house, the greatest living artist of Pinar del Rio, there’s a phrase that speaks clearly of his great soul: “strictly prohibited to stop dreaming”. So responds this Cuban who loves so much his motherland, who gave so much for it and who did so much good, discreetly, to Pinar and to Cuba. All artists, intellectuals, cultural or civic animators, know that Pedro Pablo, his home and his help, has been always in favor of the realization of the best dreams of each one of us. His moderation, his humble life and his desire for a universal inclusion of everything good, right and beautiful, mark his attachment to the homeland and his indelible contribution to the culture. Reading the exhortation to don’t stop dreaming, I couldn’t avoid recalling the end of the number 14 editorial of Convivencia which is another way to say the same thing and to dream of a better future for Cuba and its culture.
“This world is upside down. And one day will be straightened. And the artists will create and express in free public spaces, respectfully and participative. And the bloggers will write and launch to the world their blogs without gags or blockades on the internet. And the musicians and composers will say, with their free musical notes and free lyrics, what their souls want for the good of all. And the writers and artisans will let fly in the air letters and shapes as free as they are responsible. And the educators and students, methodologists and directors of education, will not fear students expressing themselves, or gathering freely without the surveillance of their custodians with teacher faces. And every one, men or women, will contribute, express or intervene in the public spaces, in the cultural environments without the horrible nightmare of being labeled as a worm or a mercenary.
This world will come, nobody doubts it, and then Cuba will stand up and will close the door on the gag. And the threatening arms of brother against brother will be lowered. And the offenses between lifetime neighbors will end, and fear and the threats from our phones and squares will end. And families divided by all these will be reunited. And, then, it won’t be a day for revenge, or for hate, or rancor. Cuba, every Cuban man or woman, will brick up the door to violence and repudiation. And we will open between all of us, with the beauty of the arts and the letters, with the truthfulness of the ethical and civic education and with the kindliness of the peaceful coexistence, the ample door, diverse and fraternal of the National Home that it is and it will be forever this Cuba that still navigates in hope.”
Pedro Pablo and Henry, you know you can count on the solidarity, the affection and respect of many people in Cuba and overseas. Even the silence of fear speaks by itself. It’s only a matter of not sinking in hopelessness. It is only another big blackout. Let there be light.
Translated by: Adrian Rodriguez
May 26 2011
By Juan Carlos Fernández Hernández
I don’t know how many Cubans have repeated this phrase in recent days. Specifically since State Security agent moles Emilio (Carlos Serpa) and Vladimir (Moises Rodriguez) came to light. Those who let us know, according to the Cuban government, about the plans of the American Imperialists to take over the island using the terrifying woman of the so-called Ladies in White, who for more than seven years have been walking on Quinta Avenue after mass at the Santa Rita parish, in Miramar, demanding the release of their family members imprisoned since the spring of 2003 for the simple reason of wanting to express publicly that the country urgently needs changes. Something that not only the 75 prisoners of consciience say, this is something that all people know and are increasingly unafraid to express.
But apparently, Emilio and Vladimir have completed their mission, reporting what everyone knows. Now the Cuban leaders have focused on the Internet, it could not be otherwise, burning another super 007, called, according to the official Cuban press, Raul, by Cuban Security and Alexander by his enemies. His name is Dulexis, I think.
The boy in question uncovered another macabre plan to subvert order; in Cuba even if we have no record at least we have a tremendous average in plans, which by the way is already tired for its unoriginality. This is none other than the installation of satellite dishes for satellite television, and clandestine Internet networks. An American citizen has been tried in Cuba for installing these most dangerous (the phrase is not mine) apparatuses.
And I’m telling the truth, they are extremely dangerous because they bring free information to the Cuban citizen. For those who control all the information media this is a no-brainer. It’s war, they say.
Can you imagine people being able to watch the news on Spanish TC, Univision, Mega TV, America TC and whatever they like, or reading El País, ABC, Nuevo Herald, Clarín, Generación Y, Voces, Convivencia, or anything else they want?
I understand the leaders of Cuba, but of course I do not agree nor will I ever agree that they should treat us as if we were simply little kids to whom that can say: that it is good and that is bad. We matured a long time ago and we can establish the value of things by ourselves.
The cyber police already said at the conference that someone leaked (?) to the network, I paraphrase: “No one is going to come to warn you that your compuer seems to have a little sign that says:” You are connected to the Internet.”
Yes, yes… there’s not doubt, they are very afraid. But they have Internet.
Not to mention, now that the cable has arrived, what’s the problem?
Juan Carlos Fernández Hernández. (b. 1965). Pinar del Río.
Former leader for the Brotherhood of Aid to Prisoners and Their Families of Prison Pastoral Care. Staff member of Coexistence. Animator of civil society.
March 24 2011
By Sironay González Rodríguez
These days, when we are leaving behind the Cuban Communist Party Congress, which addressed a series of measures which have left a people not hopeful but concerned; when a there is a shortage of the word of the day in our lives; when our government excludes and marginalizes the whole idea of favorable change for all Cubans, and turns their campaign to discredit a part of civil society into a tasteless campaign, we should reflect on the value that is being given to the Nation.
The actions taken on behalf of the Nation, be they to honor the fallen, or for love, never should be undertaken to threaten those who form a part of our nationality. The country belongs to everyone, and therefore we are all called to support her, take care of her, and raise all of our children to be a part of her.
When we truly loves our native soil, and see it dying as ours it, for lack of the many values that strengthen a country, we must be united, thinking of solutions to benefit everyone, not tearing apart and rejecting plans and projects that could help the majority.
Cuba is in times of change, we reject all who call for hatred and exclusion, and above all we call for all the pride, or remorse, our Nation imposes.
Sironay González Rodríguez
b. San Cristobal, Artemis. 1976
April 28 2011
by Sironay González Rodríguez
I do not remember exactly when I didn’t join a union. Since I started working, until a few months ago when the Revolution decided that I wasn’t necessary for its “perfection” of the system, and they made me “available”–that is laid me off–I didn’t find that this organization represented my interests.
In past governments, the various labor unions existed, and were a thorn in the side of the companies, industries and even the leaders themselves, because they fearlessly claimed the rights of those they represented.
Today there are many unions–many!–but there are not many owners, only one, the State. And there are no workers’ struggled, members do not know their rights, the owner is the best and you can’t contradict him. The union leaders work together with the owners to prepare the May Day celebrations, giving another meaning to the holiday.
The behavior of the Cuban Workers Union (CTC) is so wrong, that in these days, when unemployment in Cuba reminds us of the times in which because of this the first silent federations arose, the union sectors are now back working with the principals, convincing the “availables” of the need for the country to get along without them.
The working class does not have a true representative in the CTC, the owner, the State, does. It’s another arm of the octopus with which they subjugate us.
This May Day they will again march all over the country. The workers will carry placards praising the master, while he, confident once again, will be thinking about how to blunt the sickle and make a heavier hammer.
Sironay González Rodríguez
b. San Cristobal, Artemis. 1976
April 28 2011