Each time the so-called both shores are getting closer in artistic matters. The cultural exchange between the United States and Cuba grows and takes renewed and growing leaps in various expressions. With the aim of uniting the cultures of both nations and show how related that both are due to the common denominator that is the African heritage as a space for exchange and dialogue the Cooper Fest will take place in Miami, from September 4 through the 11.
Travelling to America for Cuban artists has ceased to be a utopia to become an increasingly palpable reality. For about five years ago these links have been strengthened, and within a few days twenty artists from dissimilar manifestations will cross the 90 mile strait. For the first time this year they will arrive together at the American nation to star in the event that brings together the African roots, the Yoruba religion and religiosity the two peoples share.
The Sintesis Group, the dance Retazos and DanzAbierta companies, visual artists Noel Morera, Nicomedes Diaz, Carlos Alberto Rodriguez, Alan Manuel Gonzalez, Alejandro Calzada Miranda and Juana Morales will participate in the Copper Fest, part of the American foundation Copperbridge (CBF) . It will be a week of Cuban culture in Florida where music, dance, art and religion are divided between Swampspace and House of Art galleries and the Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, located in Wynwood Art District and Miami Design District.
This festival stems from the efforts of the Cuban-American George Darder, president of CBF, to bring the United States his roots and establish a dialogue between the Cuban and the American communities. Since his first visit to the Island two decades ago he has tried to show the identity strengths of Cuba, from which come his roots like those of many inhabitants of this peninsula.
The event will include concerts, dance performances, lectures, exhibition openings, lectures and workshops. The festival is characterized by a different dynamic to the participants who are used in similar events. These are usually more private and lack of feedback and contact with the local population. Copper Fest integrates Cultural Evolution series of events that promotes CBF foundation since 2013.
Attendees will discuss and interact with visiting Cuban artists and Americans Donna Hughes and Nathaniel Styles. Donna, who is a model and jewelry designer will offer a workshop on how to create Yoruba garments and of ritual origin and will speak the same way about the peculiarities of the designs, colors and configurations of her beads. Meanwhile, Nathaniel will exhibit and made available to the audience his knowledge of tradition, orality, legends, rituals and practices of the Yoruba religion. Both accompany the Cuban Juana Morales, an institution in the subject, the photographer Alejandro Calzada, creator of the Contemporisha series and songwriters Carlos Alfonso and Ele Valdés, in a panel on Yoruba roots and influence in the artistic expressions of this religion, in recent years it has spread all over the globe.
Under the title of Mother of all Cubans Cuban painters Noel Morera, Nicomedes Diaz, Carlos Alberto Rodriguez and Alan Manuel González tributes to the beloved and respected Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, Cuba’s religious symbol. The artists come with a dozen works, some previously exhibited in Cuba, which refer to the iconography of the Oshun of Catholics, the patroness of Cuba, recreating her stories, legacies, meaning and interpretations.
Bridging distances, breaking barriers and promoting the exchange, the festival will run for a week as a bridge between the two cultures, so close together and so many contact points as art, faith and ancestors.
By Cecilia Crespo, CubaSi
August 26, 2014