Poor Results / Fernando Damaso
Posted on April 21, 2014
The Eighth Congress of the Union of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC)
recently ended, yielding very poor results, which was not unexpected to
those of us who have been following it before the run-up and during the
It began with a doctrinaire address by its president, who stated that
"UNEAC is the Moncada Barracks of culture" and "from its beginnings
UNEAC has done nothing but serve the Revolution." This came as a
surprise to no one, especially given the presence at the event of
important figures from the Communist party and the government, which
guaranteed there would be no deviations.
Discussions among the more than three hundred delegates from all over
the country were led by various commissions—culture and media, art, the
market and cultural industries, urban affairs and architecture, national
patrimony and sculpture, regulation and litigation—were restricted to
rehashing proposals presented at previous congresses, most of which have
never been put into practice.
We are inundated with rhetoric about issues related to creativity, the
analysis of contemporary aesthetic trends, the need to rethink radio,
television and film while taking into account the emerging needs and
expectations of the population, to confront all forms of corruption,
indiscipline, waste, disorder and vulgarity, the need for more effective
mechanisms for commercializing art, the need to define and implement
policies for the built environment, the need to chart a policy for the
city and for architecture through national development programs and the
proposed changes in the legal statutes. It's really hard to separate the
wheat from all the chaff.
Once again there were the "genetic censors," seeking to solve problems
by creating committees to review and approve, a ludicrous approach in
the current context. It is evidence of generational stagnation and the
influence of the exalted sayings of the National Orator—ever-present if
not physically present—who is remembered as our "greatest intellectual."
It was pure theater in which every one of the participants knew by heart
the lines he or she was supposed to say.
14 April 2014
Source: Poor Results / Fernando Damaso | Translating Cuba -