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“Last night I dreamed that dreaming was not a sin, but to shutter dreams was. To illuminate dreams to those whose dreams are dead”, Luis Manuel Valdez told Real World Radio when invited to share a message with Latin American artists whose dreams have been castrated and who demand the right to dream amid domination and social repression.
Luis Manuel is part of the Street Big Bang Project, which collaborated with the 5th Latin American Meeting of Environmental Popular Education in Pinar del Rio, Cuba. They are part of the process of environmental popular education with the Center for Education and Promotion of Sustainable Development: CEPRODESO.
The Street Big Bang socio-cultural Project aims to raise awareness about the different social and community aspects of their socio-environmental reality through different artistic expressions to do advocacy for self-transformation. It also aims to build capacities to raise the standard of living of those who participate in creative spaces by promoting infrastructure, strengthening the women’s role in society and installing economic income sources for the population, thus promoting community development.
The Project put its art to the service of the 5th Meeting celebrated in Cuba. “Our contribution from art, has to communicate what we are doing in the streets and the main logic of what is happening in our context. We are also fighting for a better socialism, because we want a better Cuba, we want to transform things we believe are not necessary. We want to get rid of obstacles, of top-down structures, of male chauvinism that is still happening”, said the artist in an interview with our correspondent Danilo Urrea.
He participated at the meeting, Street Big Bang. Valdez said the alternative codes should be at the service of transformation, as part of an initiative of his generation, as a result of the current conflicts. The creation of a collective group, beyond individual artists should focus on a greater collective aim: the communities, or the country, even other countries, he said.
During the events held recently in Pinar del Rio, the Street Big Bang Project made an exhibition called La piel de TECMA, in the center of downtown Havana. The Cuban artist said “it is hard to have this space. It is a building that made history because the people who fought on July 26(1953) were imprisoned there in Pinar del Rio, many people were tortured and murdered there. Then it became a public toilet, a place for misfits, a space where people would throw their garbage, it was awful”. They recovered the building and the people realized that they had something interesting to show and the community helped in the process, from children to adults.
The community was glad that the Latin American meeting was held here, as a place for transforming reality to make better countries with more freedom for active participation.
A two-and-a-half year process of work which resulted in a meeting with several thousand Brazilian peasants; “a process that didn´t start now, and that won´t end here”, said Itelvina Massioli, national leader of the peoples´ struggle for land, agrarian reform and food sovereignty, in interview with Real World Radio after the 6th Congress of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST).
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