This morning i am invited for the yearly ceremony of the students of the art departments. They told me that about 200 students would get their diploma.
Yesterday i had a an appointment on the Dutch embassy and they warned me just like Geraldine to behave very touristic with my camera as long as my visa is not changed in an artist visa. Otherwise I can have big problems before the work has even started. So Geraldine is still doing her best to get my status in my visa changed. Last night we visited two friends of Geraldine. It is a couple and he will also graduate. His name is Adrian hill and from origin he is from Peru. He will finished his study as the best student from abroad. His certificate has a golden touch. His girl fiend is now in the third year and her direction is editing. After the inauguration the students decided to go to ISA (instituto superior de art) it is a beautiful constructed place. Before the revolution it was a very expensive golf field. Castro changed everything except the pool and we enjoyed that today. Music some hidden bottles of rum and the pool and every body was very happy. It is the art university of Cuba. Arts, Music, and the film university is on another spot but connected with this place. The whole campus is designed in the shape of a women body. You only can see this from above. What I saw was that everything was round and fluid no hard edges very smooth. Very special places to study I think. I thought it would be a great idea to have a change for three months with students from the art school in Holland. In Holland the school and everything is in the middle of the society and here you live and work in a beautiful constructed environment. Totally focused on your work and the other students. What I saw to day during the pool party was that there was a great openness and playfulness to wards each other. It really touched me.
Of course Habana is one big surprise for me. The story about the flags in front of the American Administration. Years ago they the American administration found a solution for the information which did not reach Cuba through the political system of the Cuban government. They just put a big screen on the walls of the their building and every evening when it became dark the world news appear there. So what was the next step of Fidel Castro? Just give a commission to an artist and he will find something. He just planted hundred’s of black flags with a white star in it just before this building. All that flags dancing in the wind towards the American administration. Already in daytime it has a big impact so how will it be in the night these black flags glimmering in the sunshine. In the evening glimmering of the light of the news what go’s on. Friends told me that it is news on the level on of Hollywood and that the American Administration just hires the building of the Swiss. Official it is the Swiss embasedy but they only use one level and the rest is in use by the Americans.
And the in old Havana I just ran into a public gymnastic class. Young children were just exercising in small groups. It looks like the basis rules of a fighting sport. It al happened in the neighbourhood of the Museo del Revolution. At the main square there was the oldest group they had beautiful shying pants on and where in the middle of the sunlight. The further of Cuba. Geraldine told me that nobody knows how the further will develop. She feels as she is living in a bubble complete disconnected from the rest of the world. She told me that it is forbidden for people to have internet connection at home only when you can prove that it necessary for your work ot when you are not Cuban and living here.
I live since 16 hours in a very nice house in Vendado in Habana. It is casa particularise directed by two women. Madre Petronila ( mother) y Hija Rosabel ( daughter). I have a beautiful room with a veranda full of flowers and birds in the yard. Unfortunately this morning I wake up from a very screaming child only yelling for his mother. Now I write this I remember that I also heard ed it yesterday early in the evening. Let’s watch this and see what is going on.
It is hot here what I could expect but I think it will take me a couple of days to get used to it. This morning I had my first stroll out side. I discover that I live very close by the Cementerio Christobal Colon. I decided to drink my coffee just up posit the main entrance. At least i saw 10 cars with dead bodies driving on c.colon that runs straight through the cemetery. As i wanted to walk in they count me 5 pesos CUC what is about 4 euro so i decided to come back on a later moment with my video camera and hopefully my work permit. Geraldine the women whit whom I will work here is now trying to get one for me. It will be Just a good job for her because only 14 days ago she passed her graduation on the film academy. Her main subject is production. On my way home I discovered a small yard where at least 6 young boys where training their body and mind with weight halters. They where allowing that I took a picture of them hopefully they let me also do film them in a couple of days.
Not any more my attention on how I can cover my body as I am used to going to the Middle East. It really feels as a change. In Cuba I work together with Geraldine Orta she is student t at the ICAIC (film academy) in Habana. Also I have a packet for the curator of the Museo Nacional De Bellas Artes. The foundation for Cultural Inventory based in Amsterdam has discovered seven years ago a lot of Dutch/Flemish paintings. Since then they are working together on this cultural heritage. The driving force after this foundation is Lia Gorter. So where I don’t take time for in Holland i will go there and see my Dutch roots. My travel feels very promising and i am sure i will get beautiful one minutes from Habana.