Once upon a time, august

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August seemed to confirm that the accumulated tensions were on the rise in the middle of a gloomy scene. Impassive uncertainties despised the illusion, shared some years before, about a world ideal of solidarity. The supposed end of the Cold War, the collapse of walls considered as unbreakable and the removal of supports that at the end delayed the Island´s outlying situation, left the wound opened.

On that August, all who inhabited the Island knew the meaning of the word crisis. Maybe because of that, in that month, the accumulated character rushed into the ocean like a depth of illusions. And how not doing it from an Island? The ocean did not leave us all unharmed. However, the deed of thousands changed the meaning, with respect to the Cuban, humanity and their relationship, as a whole and not exclusively, they started to take as referents the alternative, migration, as a possible pathway for strategies of different lives.

On that August, the common sense of society no longer judged with innate aversion those who decided to leave. On 1965 and 1980 it settled tensions inherent to a utopia that reasserted in the concert of the romantic exclusives. On 1994 –the year of afore mentioned August– nevertheless, with a pile of frustrations, the common sense gravitated and cherished thousands of unplanned decisions. And they decided to leave, and left within an atmosphere of booming detachment and cronyism, lacking in gravity, etiquette and distances, full of ideas, capable. They left with stories about corners full of boldness and some philosopher who sorts out the world. Black and white people, women and men, boys and girls, entered on their wild hearts, dropout, and walked together accompanied by the Virgin. They got their rudimentary inventions putting their lives in danger by adjusting the course of euphemistic rafts and recognizing themselves with an epithet that even today has distinctive meanings, where they went and from where they left: raft-people.

As a result of all that, the far-off symbols and meanings gave it a transnational connotation to the “la cosa”. The social representation of migration as a survival alternative was established as permanent, without influencing –it is necessary to say it–, the ideologies of being Cuban. Beyond all the invasions, inherencies and exotic reproductive contacts, the Cuban kept going even in the chiaroscuro without disregarding the distance. The Cuban nation wasn’t fading, on the contrary, it grew more intense and international.

Today, updating that subject, as a story told with uncertainty, it is necessary for overcoming the ordinary state of ideas. To see small and familiar things to the light of twenty years passed is a plausible purpose of this project. As a means for rescuing untold stories. But above all, as an interpretation, which from the very Cuban is built over this relevant fact of Cuban nation.

Edel J. Fresneda Camacho 

  1. Cojímar, August 1994
  2. For sale. August 1994
  3. Key West. Florida, 1991
  4. Homage. Havana, 1993

 

Photography by: Jose A Figueroa / From the Exile series

All Articles "1994" Project

Once upon a time, august  Edel J. Fresneda Camacho / Jose A Figueroa The ocean was still, still the ocean was  Joanna Castillo  A night and a dream on a film about balseros Joel del Río  The portable city: Havana and its diasporas  Zaira Zarza  Eduardo Sarmiento's "Malecón" Arlette Castillo

 

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