Galería Centro de Arte Internacional, 16 de septiembre.

Centro de Arte Internacional Gallery, September 16.



Teatro Mella, espectáculo del Conjunto Folklórico Nacional, 8 de octubre.

Teatro Mella, show of Conjunto Folklórico Nacional, October 8.



Sede del Conjunto Folklórico Nacional, calle 4 y Calzada.

Conjunto Folklórico Nacional Building, calle 4 and Calzada.



VI Festival Internacional de Ballet, Teatro Mella, 15 de noviembre.

Sixth International Ballet Festival, Teatro Mella, November 15.



Teatro Mella, en temporada de Danza Nacional de Cuba, 20 de noviembre.

Teatro Mella, during season of Danza Nacional de Cuba, November 20.



Museo Ignacio Agramonte, Camagüey, 25 de noviembre.

Ignacio Agramonte Museum, Camagüey, November 25.



CUBATUR, La Rampa, 27 de diciembre.

CUBATUR building, La Rampa, December 27.



Teatro Guiñol, para la función de “Shangó de Ima”, 30 de diciembre.

Teatro Guiñol, for staging of “Shangó de Ima”, December 30.



Galería Plaza de la Catedral, 17 de enero.

Plaza de la Catedral Gallery, January 17.



Homenaje a Don Fernando Ortiz. Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba “José Martí,” 13 de abril.

Homage to Don Fernando Ortiz. Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba “José Martí,” April 13.



CARIFESTA, Galería Amelia Peláez, Parque Lenin, 4 de julio.

CARIFESTA, Amelia Peláez Gallery, Parque Lenin, July 4.



CARIFESTA, Liceo de la Habana Vieja, 9 de julio.

CARIFESTA, Liceo de la Habana Vieja, July 9.



XX Aniversario de Danza Nacional de Cuba, Taller de Cerámica, Parque Lenin, 13 de septiembre.

Twentieth Anniversary of Danza Nacional de Cuba, Taller de Cerámica, Parque Lenin, September 13..


In Havana, Festival Of The Antilles


In the iridescent gold and blue green plumage of the peacock, and the most delicate blue-lilac flower clusters of the water lily, the eye that cares for life in the tropics, with its essential shapes and colors, holds sway.

The eye of the sun that refracts and proliferates in the lively water to reproduce one of the constellations of the southern sky.

It is not the implacable whiteness of the lotus, but the blue of the sea and sky that surrounds and covers the

rustic island green. It is the purple light, the impressionistic light of the torrid zone. It is the innocent

yellow of fruit that ripens slowly. It is the indigo purple, the demented and feverish golden tone that Picasso did not paint, that Gauguin’s wild eyes did not see The open tail of the peacock, rainbow, fan, resplendent

frieze of fireflies and flying fish; these are the Antilles that dazzle the eyes of the discoverer and incite the greed and profit of the conquistadors.

After the sudden bewilderment provoked by the giddy exuberance of the land of the Arawaks, Caribs, and Ciboneyes, they threw themselves into the voracious quest for gold.

Lands raped and pillaged, races martyred to the point of total extermination. Under the roots and matted floor of the forest, in the yellow scarlet shade of the fire tree, of the copious greenery of the rain tree and the evangelical bread tree, under the precise tracks of the majá snake, the iguana, and the jutía, the multi-colored flight of birds and insects, the ashes and bones of aboriginal peoples lie buried.

It is brown, a blackish brown, metallic grey, a saffron tint and its evanescent derivations up to a seminal, germinal almond tone—the colors of our soils which for centuries have been exploited by crops that impoverished its natural condition and the men who work in it.

From Christian Europe came the conquistador and in his train the cross, forced labor, old epidemics, torture, and death. He granted lands and took the legitimate owners of these islands into his domain.

An enslaved people with innocent hands, adept at finding food and minimal clothing.

They believe for certain that the land, like the sun and the water, is common to all, and that among them there should be no mine and yours.

Poor, simple, humble people, prone to rebellion or suicide.

What recollections of the love of beauty decorate your pots, ritual artifacts? What cowardly oracle hides from you the purpose of blood, screams and blood, silence and blood? Where does one find traces of him? Perhaps in the blue and grey spirals of tobacco smoke? By chance in our hands in a circle? In the unanimous beating of our feet and voices? In the cemí [Taino spirit], in the dujo [Taino chair], in the cojaba tree?

It is not the glacial whiteness of the albatross. It is the dark red of gushing blood, the scarlet of the Antillean ibis, the blood-like bark of the mastic tree, red clay, the purple orange of sunrises and sunsets, vermillion, amaranth, crimson flowers and feathers, the hard coral from underground. From the gold coast and the ivory coast, from Guinea, the Congo, Dahomey and Nigeria, from Loango and Angola, from the Cape of Good Hope east to Mozambique, piled in a heap, mixed in with chains, excrement, urine, exposed to the fierce rain and sun of the ocean. Those who survived as bone and flesh are thrown into the slave markets of the Antilles. Those who survived as blood and skin have to be subjected to the whip, the stocks, being tied face down, salt and vinegar in infected and gangrenous wounds. Those who survive with heart and mind will suffer rape and disgrace, out of rage or love, hate or faith.

The hungry Antilles, the Antilles pitted with smallpox, the Antilles dynamited by alcohol, stranded in the mud . . .

Three centuries of shame, but the master, the lord, is not ashamed. It is necessary to wait until his blood is mixed with that of the black concubine, slave or free, or true to the purity of the lineage is passed on to children who claim or demand the big house of the lands on which they were born. Because to be born here is an unnamable fiesta.

One must wait for the endemic flora and fauna, the murmurs of the water and earth, the breeze that comes down from the hills to the beach, to invade the innocent sleep of the newborn baby.

Anything flammable should cease to sleep, and let it organize our next steps!

Will those who go looking for themselves waste their time without finding the channel of their blood, the voice of their heart, their unbreakable bone? It has been a long struggle. Very long. Too long. Where does the cry of freedom begin? In the Bois Caïman? Or in the escape to the cimarrón mountains, the lonely death, the free death? Or earlier, much earlier when the indigenous people confront and struggle against the conquistador?

With the native people of these islands exterminated, what roots of love attach us to their soil? Are they the languages and beliefs of the whites? The blacks and their faith? Their myths and their history, their poverty and wealth? What and who are we as Antillean people? Old honey and salt that is also old, waters that blend with themselves, flower and root, joy and nostalgia, reality and delusion, innocence and malice.

We bring our traits to the definitive profile of America

So, comrades, here we are! We express our Antillean identity, we show it as clean as the light around us. Here are our battles and victories, the reverses and the glories. Gods, warriors, heroes; the hidden voice of the drum and the awakening bugle; the scales of the fish and of the custard apple tree; the majesty of the pineapple and the Cuban trogon; the kingdoms of the hummingbird, of the bird of paradise flower, the insect flower. We are what you see. As Manuel Couceiro, Ramón Haití, Clara Morera, Rogelio R. Cobas, Leonel Morales, Rafael Queneditt, Ever Fonseca, Arnaldo R. Larrinaga and Esteban Ayala all say: Here we are!

Here and living history: the past to make the present more human, and the future more beautiful and joyful. Of course they do not wander in search of the being lost in the sea at night, in the jungle, the mine, or the field. They do not imagine nor invent. They reproduce history, make it, and live it every day, by machete blows, slashing as in battle and in the cane fields. With blows of the hammer and chisel, powerful and firm strokes. But they still have in them the old flower that time does not diminish, and the budding flower that waits for the morning to give us its scent and its colors.

They are here and now, ready to begin the fiesta of the islands, the fiesta of the seas and of the man of sea and land. The Caribbean fiesta!

They are here and saying to us: We are the heirs of a rich ethnic legacy of diverse and syncretic cultures, so powerful and firm in rebellion, so determined to be free and equal. We are the heirs and successors of the work of L’Ouverture, Bolívar, Juárez, Martí, and Garvey.

Comrades our legacy is not perpetual drought!

Because, Our smile will break the dawn over the rivers and birds.


Pablo Armando Fernández (1979)

Don Fernando Ortiz, the centenary of whose birth is being commemorated this year, was able to discover for his contemporaries and for posterity the contribution of African peoples to the development of the Cuban people, to our national culture.

His great accomplishment was that his great work was carried out in the midst of a society in which the dominant classes imposed racism and discrimination, and denied those contributions. Thus, rather than being strictly scholarly material, Ortiz’s work was projected into the struggle against discrimination and racism, through the reaffirmation that our national identity was shaped by both Spanish and African roots, in a unique process of transculturation.

The African contributions to Cuban culture, and Afro-Hispanic transculturation, served as inspiration, in that society hostile to blacks, to creative people in several fields who are the pride of our people. Among them we should mention Nicolás Guillén, Wifredo Lam, Alejo Carpentier, and Amadeo Roldán, who have been ingenious exponents of our national culture.

In contrast to the society of the past, which was essentially discriminatory, the Socialist Revolution of the humble and for the humble in power, has made possible the proclamation by the commander in chief Fidel Castro that we are a Latin-African people. With the existence of a socialist culture that definitively includes in our national patrimony the values present in the culture of the people, the values represented by our African roots have entered the mainstream.

The creative work of Grupo Antillano falls within this context, incorporating shapes, textures, and shadings derived from our African ancestors but which are now the patrimony of all our people.


- Rafael L. López Valdés, 1981

For all Cuban artists who want to know deeply their historical and cultural roots, for anyone who aspires to drink deeply of the traditional and book-based wisdom accumulated by their ancestors, the work of Don Fernando is required reading, the point of departure, the compass orientation to renewed encounters. The Grupo Antillano, faithful to the profound Cubanness of our wise writer, exalts him in every one of its artistic creations, delves into the magical realism of the lives of our people, and strives to the truly free conquest of renovating forms. Tradition is exalted as nourishing wisdom but it never becomes the prison of the imagination.

The artist chooses, recreates, and establishes realities according to his sensitivity as a modern man. He drinks in the ancestral fountains, but bravely throws himself into the conquest of new states of Cubanness, with the eternal cimarrón spirit of our Antillean world.


- Rogelio Martínez Furé, 1981


Casa de la Cultura Cubana en Praga, Checoslovaquia, enero.

Casa de la Cultura Cubana in Prague, Czechoslovakia, January.



Seminario “Veinte Años de Independencia Política en África” del Centro de Estudios de África y Medio Oriente, Academia de Ciencia de Cuba, 21 de mayo.

Seminar “Twenty Years of Political Independence in Africa,” Centro de Estudios de África y Medio Oriente, Academia de Ciencia de Cuba, May 21.



Homenaje a José Luciano Franco, Sala Covarrubias, Teatro Nacional, 12 de diciembre.

Homage to José Luciano Franco, Sala Covarrubias, Teatro Nacional, December 12.



Ciclo de Conferencias organizado por el Grupo. “Algunos aspectos que han incidido en el desarrollo de la nacionalidad cubana”, Salón Rubén Martínez Villena, UNEAC, julio.

Lecture Series organized by the Group on “Elements that have contributed to the formation

of the Cuban nationality,” Salón Rubén Martínez Villena, UNEAC, July.



Galería del Comité de la Cultura, Sofía, Bulgaria, 30 de julio.

Comité de la Cultura Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria, July 30.



Homenaje al Centenario de Don Fernando Ortiz, Galería Habana, julio.

Homage Centennial of Don Fernando Ortiz, Habana Gallery, July.



CARIFESTA 81, Community College, Barbados, 15 de julio.

CARIFESTA 81, Barbados Community College, July 15.



Buque “XX Aniversario,” puertos de Barbados y Curazao, julio-agosto.

Ship “XX Aniversario,” ports of Barbados and Curacao, July-August.



Teatro Mella, julio-diciembre.

Teatro Mella, July-December.



Sala Covarrubias, Teatro Nacional, octubre.

Sala Covarrubias, Teatro Nacional, October.



Festival de Teatro, Teatro Mella, enero.

Festival of Theater, Teatro Mella, January.



“América Negra”, Instituto del Tercer Mundo, Ciudad de México.

“Black America,” Instituto del Tercer Mundo, México City.



“¡Aquí estamos! Homenaje a Nicolás Guillén,” Galería Amelia Peláez, Parque Lenin, julio.

“Here We Are! Homage to Nicolás Guillén,” Amelia Peláez Gallery, Parque Lenin, July.



II Festival de las Artes del Caribe, Galería Oriente, Santiago de Cuba, abril.

Second Festival of Caribbean Art, Oriente Gallery, Santiago de Cuba, April.



XX Aniversario del Conjunto Folklórico Nacional, Teatro Mella, 6 de mayo.

Twentieth Anniversary of Conjunto Folklórico Nacional, Teatro Mella, May 6.



Homenaje a Sergio Vitier. Sala Avellaneda, Teatro Nacional, 28 de mayo.

Homage to Sergio Vitier. Sala Avellaneda, Teatro Nacional, May



“Diáspora Africana”, Surinam, 21 de julio.

“African Diaspora,” Suriname, July 21.



“In Memoriam, Wifredo Lam,” Sala Thalía, Surinam, 6 de diciembre.

“Wifredo Lam in Memoriam,” Thalía Room, Suriname, December 6.



Homenaje a Manuel Couceiro, Galería Amelia Peláez, Parque Lenin, diciembre.

Homage to Manuel Couceiro, Amelia Peláez Gallery, Parque Lenin, December.



Exposición permanente, Casa del Caribe, Santiago de Cuba.

Permanent Exhibit, Casa del Caribe, Santiago de Cuba.



V Aniversario del Grupo Antillano en Homenaje a Wifredo Lam en el primer aniversario de su deceso,

Galería Plaza Vieja, septiembre.

Fifth Anniversary of Grupo Antillano, Homage to Wifredo Lam in the First Anniversary of His Death,

Plaza Vieja Gallery, September.






Art and literature are the most refined and profound representations of the social condition and development of a people.

Through such manifestations cultural groups project their personality fully and reaffirm their nationality. Imperialism understands this phenomenon, which accounts for its incessant efforts to culturally penetrate other peoples, with the ultimate goal of depersonalization and denationalization.

The Cuban people could not escape this ideological struggle. Thus in the 1930s, parallel with the Revolution then in gestation, a cultural movement emerged with genuinely Cuban roots which began to discover and develop our personality and to reaffirm our nationality and its underlying rationale.

Once again in our history the empire tried to take over our revolution, halting, rolling back, and at- tempting to chip away at the process. Imperialism understands the strength and power of the spirit, and spiritual phenomena could not escape these material and socio-economic efforts by the forces of imperialism. A process of cultural penetration that deformed and misdirected the movement began, not coincidentally, with the halting steps toward revolution.

Such penetration never achieved its goal. Forces which were indomitable, because they were the legitimate representation of the people, engaged in a great ideological battle. This was the case, among others, of Nicolás Guillén.

Consciously or unconsciously, this movement resolved all the anxieties over the underlying rationale of the ethnic origins of the Cuban people, “our definitive profile.” “We are Latin-Africans,” said our commander in chief, thus profoundly defining the roots of our world and the only possible path for the development of our national personality and consciousness. In music this came to be called Afro-Cuban, and upon reflection we can synthesize it more simply by calling it Cuban. Being Cuban is the result of our Latin-African origins.

In the 1940s three painters, independently and without yet knowing one other began to move along the path marked by Guillén and Roldán, among others, and today defined by our maximum leader. Their struggle was not easy. They were op- posed by social, racial, and other prejudices which could not adjust to the truth and fullness of our mixed blood, despite the strength and quality of their work.

Today, with the definitive triumph of our revolution, and the socialist character that gives it definition and orientation, the repressed creative forces of our people have been liberated. In the past expression was limited by the cultural repression of the times. Today, in contrast, we see a growing number of Cuban painters and sculptors who are motivated simply by their profound condition as Cubans and an awareness of their ethnic origins who consciously or unconsciously are taking the only path possible toward a common identity. When this movement began they were separated by distance, often did not know one another on a personal basis, and even without knowing one another’s work.

This is not the creation of a group that holds forth a new ideal to struggle toward. It is, rather, the reformation of a group of artists who for years have been traveling along this path some for 35 years, others for 15. Now we have identified ourselves and are connected by the common incentive to analyze together the path that up to now we have traveled separately, which we know to be the only way capable of providing a common rationale which connects us to our origins and whose full development will lead us to our encounter with a new, young, and strong culture which we can only describe as Cuban.

The Antilles are our common real environment, and we aspire to greater communication with our sibling peoples of the Antillean world. We are not interested in other worlds whose understanding cannot have spiritual depth. This does not mean that we reject them, but we need to base ourselves in our own language and strengthen ourselves conceptually and with sensitivity on what for us is most immediately ours—the Antilles.

Unfortunately in this regrouping not everyone finds their values in line with these principles. This is not our fault. We have invited them to analyze and come together while developing full awareness of our path. They are fulfilling their desire for isolation. By saying this we do not criticize them. We simply want to declare publicly that we have not ignored anyone and that this is not a group organized around personal interests. The whole group is united around the ideals expressed here and must collaborate in seeking our artistic path. If we have left out any comrade it is because we do not know him personally, and we would appreciate being so informed.

Although we do not avoid aesthetics, our objective is not simply aesthetic. On the contrary, we struggle toward our objective as a statement of our personality, but the basis of our path is, in sum, what is Cuban.


Havana, 26 of July 1978

web design: Los Fieras

proyecto y curaduría:/project concept and curator: Alejandro de la Fuente

Agradecemos a la Fundación Ford por su apoyo para este proyecto /

/ Thanks to Ford Foundation for their support for this project"