Thursday, July 23, 2009

A summer of slogans

Saturday night I went walking all over Vedado which I enjoyed very much because even though it was hot the sun wasn’t beating down on me and I saw many young people in the street. The first thing that surprised me was this enormous sign at the stop at 23rd and A saying "Our five moral giants will return":

As we were commenting on the delirious lettering that looks more like a name than an epithet, a boy we met recited this poem, between outbursts of laughter, telling me that they put it on TV a little while ago:

If in the two wars of fire and torch
Freedom gave birth to radiant heroes
In this battle of ideas
Peace has given birth to five giants.

Naturally he didn’t remember the name of the author, completely unimportant.

Later I was able to confirm that all of 23rd was completely saturated with this type of sign, some of them absolutely hilarious. That was the opinion of everyone who, like me, was astonished by this new… strategy? …to reach the young people. Those who barely watch Cuban television, who hardly know that the newspaper Granma exists, who don’t care; they don’t forget that political propaganda is in full “neo-renaissance.”

At Mariana Grajales park at 23rd and C there there was a concert with Agonizer, a Cuban rock group. The park was full of people but I didn’t go to the concert because I wanted to continue my stroll. But I was very surprised when from 23rd I saw that the back of the stage they had installed was half covered by this sign saying, "To work hard":

Finally, on coming to G Street, an incongruous giant cloth, saying "This revolution is the daughter of culture and ideas," made us duck our heads to cross from one side of the boulevard to the other, always watched over by two cops, in case some too tall frikie might decide to remove the obstacle between him and his friends on the other side. But best of all is that, when I was complaining about the terrible bombardment of propaganda they subject us to, someone walked by and said to me:

- Better this way, so that we don’t forget that they don’t love us and we annoy them.

Fotos: Claudio Fuentes Madan

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