Also known as Fiesta del Fuego (Fire Festival), the event will make emphasis on the foundation of Casa del Caribe, an institution dedicated to study, research and promote Cuba and the Caribbean people’s culture.
After two years of hosting the festival in the digital platforms – because of the pandemic of COVID-19 – this edition is aimed at again gathering groups, leaders, artists, cultural promoters and scholars from Cuba, the Caribbean and the world in situ.
Organizers stated that the event’s objective is to take once again to the streets and squares of the city of Santiago de Cuba, with the contagious joy of its welcoming people, complying with the protection measures in place against the pandemic.
The festival will also be dedicated to the 40th anniversary of Septeto Turquino (Turquino Septet) – founded in 1982 at the University of Oriente – and the 30th anniversary of the Macubá Theater Studio – a renowned artistic group headed by professor and National Theater awardee Fátima Patterson.
The festival will be adapted to the epidemiological conditions linked to COVID-19, the organizers stressed. In spite of the difficulties created by the pandemic, last year’s festival developed virtual programs, but ended up with the traditional Devil’s Burning at Barrancas, a site that preserves the Haitian legacy.
“Against all the odds,” the festival has been held without a break in spite of hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural phenomena, even in spite of political instability circumstances such as the Honduras 2009 coup d’état, when tribute was rendered to that culture.
On that occasion, President Manuel Zelaya, was expected to participate, but was violently removed from his constitutional mandate.
A lesson learned by the Casa del Caribe collective and other cultural institutions in Santiago is resilience in the face of various onslaughts, in an admirable effort to sustain at all costs this meeting of brothers and sisters based on Caribbean spirituality, according to experts.
That vocation of resistance, has kept alive the traditional popular culture through centuries, and will put forward the program of activities organized by Casa, respecting the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.
The XV International Colloquium held last January in memory of Joel James, founder of Casa and the Caribbean festivals –which he headed until his death, on June 2006– was a good preamble.
The poster of this year’s festival, considered an impressive legacy for the Cuban culture, was designed by Alexis Caballero. Its bright colors and flames make reference to the festival’s fire, an image that will accompany all activities prior to the summer and to the
preparations for the jubilee, in the middle of the summer.
ef/mc (published in The Havana Reporter)