The work of the Hermanos Saiz Association, the Cuban organization that brings together young artists, filmmakers, actors, poets, musicians, cultural promoters and writers, was the subject of one of the sessions at the congress of the Association of Latin American Studies (LASA) in Boston, USA, 24-27 May.
Rafael González, playwright and president of the Hermanos Saíz Association (AHS), was in the US to make a presentation about young art across the island, especially in the various provinces, outside the capital centres of promotion.
The possibilities for young Cuban creators are multiplying, said the head of AHS. The organisation brings together around 3,400 members, and has a national office in Havana plus 16 more in the rest of the Cuban provinces, with bases in different municipalities.
What do we do with the more than two thousand members of the AHS who live outside the capital? How do we promote the work of those who are on the fringes of those established centres? These were some of the questions which Gonzalez answered in his presentation.
The AHS has a system of scholarships and awards, as well as training days for young people working in the different genres such as visual arts, literature, performing arts and video and filmmaking.
Amongst many others, Gonzalez mentioned the arts grant ‘La Noche’, dedicated to promoting literary works for children and young people; and prizes such as ‘the Calendar’, which promotes writing by young people in Cuba; and the ‘Adolfo Llauradó’ award, given to the best young actors in the country.
González also stressed that the AHS has five publishing houses outside of Havana: ’Sed de Belleza’, in Villa Clara; ‘La Luz’, in Holguín; ‘Aldabón’, in Matanzas; ‘Anchors’, in the Isla de la Juventud and ‘Reina del Mar’, in Cienfuegos.
AHS has existed for the last 32 years in Cuba and Gonzalez was happy to have the opportunity to talk about its work and young art in Cuba at the LASA event.
“It is important that we can show what young artists in Cuba are doing, how we live and create, that is one of the objectives of being here”, he said.
González should have been accompanied by four other speakers from Cuba in a panel dedicated to his organization, but “this year, unfortunately, the US Government denied visas to the rest of my colleagues,” he lamented.
Being blocked from coming to the US to perform an academic exercise and promoting of Cuban art, reflected the reality today of relations between Cuba and the United States, he said.
More about the AHS
The organization emerged in October 1986 , when it was decided to merge the organisation for cultural instructors, promoters and technicians, with the organisation formed for young writers and artists and musicians of the New Trova Movement , with the purpose of stimulating artistic and literary creation. The Hermanos Saíz Association aimed to reflect the new generation and reclaim a cultural space for under 35 year olds.
More info about the AHS see http://www.ahs.cu/