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 August 2008 Lettres de Cuba
With more than a hundred artists from nine countries, the Festival Circuba 2008 is here, from the 5th to the 17th. Our country will be represented by distinguished groups like the company Havana, winner of the Grand Prix in the last Festival. In parallel with this event, from August 6th, the international practical workshop Cubadanza shows the techniques reached by our contemporary dance school. Then, between the 19th and the 24th the Cuban Hip Hop Symposium and Festival will become a space for debate and exchange, with the participation and performance of the best exponents of this genre.

And since Lettres de Cuba is also a cultural monthly event, we offer our friendly readers a variety of interesting texts along with a select range of artistic pictures.

The section Encounters invites you to enjoy two texts: an homage by writer and journalist Jaime Sarusky (winner of the 2004National Literature Prize) to the prominent photographer Raúl Corrales; while Emilio Roig de Leuchsenring (1889-1964), founder of the Oficina del Historiador de la Ciudad de La Habana in 1936, tells us how the dreaded French corsair Jacques de Sores captured and destroyed Havana in 1555.

The regular Interview is carried out by Marta Sarabia Romero to Master Roberto Vargas Lee, founder and president of the Cuban Wushu School. The traditional dances practiced in the school, the immediate challenges for the master and the implications of martial arts in ethics and education of their practitioners, the importance of the work with children and the relations of the Historian Office with this beautiful project will be some of the subjects raised. To this section is dedicated the gallery of this issue.

Letters offers this time an article by journalist Mercedes Santos Moray about La alegría de traducir, the most recent work of the philologist, translator and researcher Carmen Suárez León. In the same way, the reader will find in this section the lecture Dos lenguas para expresar el alma creole, recently given by Martinican poet Nicole Cage-Florentiny in the Casa de las Américas.

Treasures delivers two historical articles very interesting for those who like cultural heritage. The first one, written by journalist Yolanda Ferrera Sosa, is about the recent declaration of the historic center of Camagüey as World Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); in the second one, Pablo Andrés Pitaluga deals with the different theories about the foundation of the village of Mantua, in the Pinar del Río province, and side with one of them.

In Arts, writer Graziella Pogollotti (2005 National Literature Prize) presents a tremendous critic on the current situation of the cultural market, while journalist Gladis Alvarado contributes with a reflection on the already long circus tradition in Cuba, in focusing on the ethical and esthetical dimension of the National Circus of Cuba.

Reading Martí suggests the poem “Sed de belleza”, included in the Single Verses series written by the Apostle between 1878 and 1882 and an undisputable example of the originality and magnificence of the Maestro, a Cuban politician, journalist and poet of universal character.

The issue is illustrated by plastic artist Raúl Cordero (1971) who intents to question in his work the different ways of artistic realization and has been able to establish a singular dialog between video, installation, photography, and painting. Besides his numerous individual and collective exhibitions, Cordero, his work is in collections like the Wifredo Lam Centre in Havana, the François Schmidt in Paris, the Julian Schnabel in New York, and the Heinrich Bool Foundation in Cologne among others.

You have in your hands then, dear readers, a varied selection of texts of unquestionable quality and particular style accompanied by beautiful esthetical images that invite you to fully enjoy our magazine. We hope the good flavor will last until the arrival of the surprises of the next issue.


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