cubaine

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Une rueda de salsa cubaine devant la cathédrale

Juan Roberto Diago Durruthy

Ciudad en ascenso (Ascending city), 2009.  Mixed media installation, detail. Dimensions variable.

Queloides/Keloides: Race and Racism in Contemporary Cuban Art, La Habana, Cuba, and Pittsburgh, USA, 2010-11.

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Ian Deleón

¡Este Pueblo Tiene Sabor!, 2013. Inkjet print, 21 x 21 in (53 x 53 cm).

These figurative logos for Hatuey beer (purchased by Bacardi from the original Cuban bottlers) and the Old Colony soft drink (marketed in Puerto Rico through Pepsi) are taken out of their consumer product contexts and placed against the sky blue background of Puerto Rico’s original flag (modern versions of the flag exhibit a darkening shade of blue depending on the island’s political proximity to the U.S.). The Taíno cacique Hatuey (claimed by Cuba as its first national hero for his uprising against the Spanish) is seen here defiantly standing at a very close distance to this faceless symbol of colonial domination. This digital provocation is an attempt to reclaim the visual power of these problematic corporate narratives–enacting a revenge fantasy in which history may be altered, and the Taínos are not overpowered by the colonizing force.

“These People Have Flavor” is the artist’s translation of the absurdly lighthearted tagline (“¡Este Pueblo Tiene Sabor!”) used to promote the Old Colony soft drink in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico—a slap in the face that Hatuey will hopefully return.

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