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Havana: Art from a Disconnected Island

Cuba is a multi-layered, complex, culturally-rich island, known primarily for the 1953 revolution of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. The revolution, America’s subsequent trade embargo and the economic struggles that the island faced has had a notable impact on the kind of art that was created. Much of it was inspired by a sense of cohesion and unity, with Cuban artists promoting the belief that socialism would work. More recently, and in the context of renewed normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba, a younger generation of artists are creating works that focus on individual survival. But they feel marooned on their island, forced to navigate challenges like basic access to Internet, power outages and ongoing censorship. 

In this episode, we follow the following artists as they struggle to get their voices out and establish a connection with the rest of the world: Miguel coyula, a multi-skilled maverick filmmaker; Sheila San Martin, a choreographer who dances and teaches children; Isnay Rodriguez, AKA DJ Jigue, a DJ whose musical roots began in an extraordinary but under-resourced underground scene; and Lou Piensa, a Canadian nomadic hip-hop artist 

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