Online Screening and Discussion of the short film "Generación"
with Marco Castillo, Katherine Bisquet, and Hamlet Lavastida
Organized by the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum (USFCAM)
November 18, 2021/ 6:00 pm EST, Online via Zoom
USFCAM presented an online screening of Cuban artist Marco Castillo’s short film "Generación" (2019), which laments the loss of multiple generations of cultural voices through the actions of the Cuban government. The screening was followed by a conversation with Castillo and exiled Cuban artists and activists Katherine Bisquet and Hamlet Lavastida. The conversation addressing the context for artists in Cuba was moderated by USFCAM Curator-at-Large Christian Viveros-Fauné.
ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS
Katherine Bisquet (Ciudad Nuclear, Cuba, 1992) is a poet and activist. She has published two books of poetry: Algo aquí se descompone (Colección Sur Editores, Havana, 2014) and Nuclear City mon amour(Ediciones Sinsentido, Havana, 2020). She organized Havana’s #00Bienal in 2018, and participated in the San Isidro Movement’s hunger strike of November 2020. In 2021, she received the Hannah Arendt International Institute of Artivism’s Antonia Eiriz Scholarship, awarded to independent artists and intellectuals, for her book project Los Mojados. Bisquet has published in magazines and newspapers around the world, among them: Vice en español, El Estornudo, Hyperallergic, and Hypermedia. She is also the co-creator of Rialta Magazine's column Cuban Cinema During Quarantine, an initiative designed to rescue, research, and promote Cuban cinema.
Marco Castillo (Camaguey, Cuba, 1971) lives and works in Mérida, México. A founder of the art collective Los Carpinteros, Castillo’s work is permeated by an interest in the history of Cuba and the country’s post-revolutionary, social, and cultural changes. His works often focus on Cuba’s modernization in the 1960s and 70s, making ample reference to influential Cuban artists, architects, and designers—key figures he calls a “forgotten generation.” From a political standpoint, Castillo looks to follow the historic trail of these artists, while positioning himself as both an advocate and herald for Cuban artistic heritage. His work is represented in important public and private collections, among them Tate Modern, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana; Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid; Thyssen – Bornemisza Contemporary Art, Vienna; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Daros Foundation, Zürich; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles.
Hamlet Lavastida (Havana, Cuba, 1993) is a political activist by way of his art. The provocative, boundary-pushing artist thrives on highlighting the distinctly Cuban spirit of cultural resistance, often by reconstructing elements of Cuban political and military propaganda. His work has been exhibited widely at, among other venues, the Center of Contemporary Art Laznia, Gdansk, Poland; The 8th Floor, New York, US; Gallery Gentil Carioca, Rio do Janeiro, Brazil; Centro Wifredo Lam, Havana, Cuba, and Pontevedra Museum, Galicia, Spain.
Lavastida was arrested by Cuban authorities on June 26, days after returning from a residency at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin. He was held for three months at Villa Marista prison, a jail known to hold political prisoners, until September 25, when he and Katherine Bisquet were escorted by 20 agents to José Martí Airport and flown out of Havana to Warsaw, Poland, without a chance to bid their families farewell.