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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

“Islamérica” Festival to revitalize links between the Canary Islands and Latin America

Arona Council, through its Department of Historical-Artistic and Ethnographic Heritage, led by José Alberto Delgado, initiates a new cultural project, baptized as Islamérica, which has as its  purpose recover the memory of the historical relations between the Canary Islands and Latin America, which constitute an indisputable sign of identity in the symbolic imaginary of the Canaries and which is part of the intangible heritage of the archipelago's culture. The first edition of this has been subtitled as Cuba. El Reencuentro (Cuba. Reunion).

This program, of cultural significance, comes at a very opportune moment to value a territory so appreciated by the Canaries as is the Caribbean island, which is going through a difficult economic and social moment as a result of the effects of the COVID pandemic, which has seriously accentuated its historical gap caused by the US blockade. This production also has the support of the Canarian Institute for Cultural Development of the Government of the Canary Islands and the Foreign Action area of ​​the Cabildo de Tenerife. Invitations to access all activities, free of charge, can be obtained at www.arona.org

The Islamérica calendar of activities begins on Wednesday the 20th, at 7pm, at the Los Cristianos Cultural Center, coinciding with the commemoration of the Day of Cuban National Culture, having been sung, on October 20, 1868, for the first time, the Cuban national anthem, La Bayamesa, in Bayamo. For this reason, several researchers will intervene in person and from Cuba, via streaming [the coronavirus prevented their transfer to Tenerife]. 

Arona residents emigrated to Cuba in 1885

The choice of Arona to rescue the centuries-old memory of the Canarian-Cuban connection is no coincidence since, as Galván Tudela himself collects in the work he co-authored with the historian Guillermo Sierra Torres, entitled La migración de Arona a Cuba. Una visión transnacional [1895-1930]  (The migration of Arona to Cuba. A transnational vision [1895-1930]), in that historical period there was an intense migratory flow of residents of Arona to the Manzanillo area in Cuba, where they worked in the sugarcane fields of the Santa Teresa de Campechuela sugar mill [today Enidio Diaz].

The cycle has other activities related to history and literature planned: On October 22 and November 3, the presentation of bibliographic premieres such as Canarias en Cuba-Cuba en Canarias [Tribute to Julio Hernández García] will be held at the Los Cristianos Cultural Center, and also at 7pm, a volume of Le Canarien Ediciones in recognition of the valuable legacy of the brilliant Canarian Americanist and a doublet, Interviews with Gastón Baquero and The mythical city called La Habana, with Arona writer Alberto Linares as master of ceremonies and the spirit of the controversial writer and Cuban poet of the 20th century as the protagonist of the literary evening, respectively.

Islamérica will dedicate a special section to cinema at the Infanta Leonor de Los Cristianos Auditorium, with a billboard that begins on Tuesday, October 26 with the documentary Mujeres de sal. Hombres de humo (Women of salt. Men of smoke), directed by the social educator and researcher from Gran Canaria, Iris Carballo, who will make an introduction to the film. On November 8 and 9 there will be two double sessions, José Martí: el ojo del canario [Fernando Pérez Valdés [Feature film] - Cabaiguán, the Canarian capital of Cuba [Producciones Ibora. Documentary] and Entre perro y lobo (Between Dog and Wolf) [José Ángel Alayón. Feature film] - Canarios en la guerra de Cuba 1895-1898 (Canarians in the war in Cuba 1895-1898) [Producciones Ibora. Documentary], respectively.

Music from the two shores with Abakuá and Yeray Rodríguez

The music of the two shores will be twinned with Cuban and Canarian resonances on Wednesday, November 10 at the Infanta Leonor de Los Cristianos Auditorium with a double offer of the traditional Cuban repertoire in which the Abakuá sextet is specialized, under the direction of Fernando Cruz, and the prestigious Yeray Rodríguez, accompanied by his band of musicians.

The next day, the Casa de la Bodega, in the town of Arona, will be the setting for the opening of an exhibition, 'Manuel Martín González in Havana 1920-1930', with unpublished photographic work of the artist, a native of Guía de Isora, considered one of the great masters of Canarian landscaping. The festival will culminate on November 19 with a tasting of Canarian-Cuban cuisine.