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Wednesday, 31 January 2018
TV and community high in the mountains - TV Serrano celebrates 25 years
When talking about contemporary Cuban documentary making, you can't ignore the community project in the mountains that has promoted local culture and committed to the welfare of those who inhabit the largest mountain range in Cuba. Televisión Serrana, located in the Sierra Maestra itself, is celebrated its quarter of a century on January 15, a period in which it has managed to differentiate itself from the rest of the island's telecentres by its work and programming. To bring art to the most difficult sites and to strengthen the active participation of the community are two objectives that the project has followed to the utmost.
The cultural heart of Buey Arriba, Granma, Televisión Serrana was born thanks to the ideas and battle of the director Daniel Diez, under the auspices of UNESCO, the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television and the National Association of Small Farmers. Those young people who arrived at the town of San Pablo de Yao in January 1993 had as their first task to win the trust and respect of the mountain people. Making a close relationship was the key to achieve the objectives of the project.
Since 1993, a large production, especially documentaries - heir to a certain extent of the venerable Noticiero ICAIC Latinoamericano -, have been filmed and screened in the eastern mountains, and some have been awarded tangible and intangible prizes.
They have received a lot of admiration but I would say that the greatest merit of this project is the investment in the locals, who find in it not only a source of activity and movement, but also a means to be seen and heard. Talking about everyday life, nature, aspirations, games, points of view, sadness and rejoicing in front of a camera, has become for the Serranos a form of expression and release.
The educational work of the Serrana Television is another of its points in favor, especially what is produced by the Center of Studies for Community Communication. It provides tools for locals to teach and learn audiovisual language, in order not only that they can decode certain products, but also so they can create their own works. The culture, then, has grown in Buey Arriba and its surroundings.
Not only has this community project enriched the Sierra Maestra with cinema, theater, visual arts and literature; thanks to their work, streets and sidewalks have also emerged, electricity and drinking water have been extended and environmental care has been developed. In other words, the Serrana Television has transformed the community culturally, socially and economically.
We congratulate TV Serrano on its 25th birthday, and hope it will continue another quarter of a century bringing joy and well-being to those who live in the sierra Maestra and, of course, adding to the audiovisual archive of the Island sincere films, that reflect , build and transform realities several meters above sea level.