Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Santiago Conference of African and African American Culture April 12-16








Dedicated to: Presence  of the African substrate in the socio-racial identity in the countries of the  area

April 12-16, 2022


The African Cultural Center "Fernando Ortiz", the Provincial Directorate of Culture, of Afro-Ibero-American Studies of Alcalá, of Afro-Caribbean Studies "Rómulo Lachatañeré", the Directorate of International Relations of the CAP and of the East, convene la Cátedra UNESCOla Universidad la Cátedrala Universidad the XX International Conference of African and Afro-American Culture, to be held in Santiago de Cuba from April 12 to 16 of this year. 

The meeting proposes to bring together specialists, scholars and interested in Africanist and African-American issues to open a space for reflection on the most pressing problems of the subject, from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Researchers from the social sciences, plastic artists, doctors, filmmakers, musicians, choreographers, dancers, priests and practitioners of popular religions of African substrate and interested in general are invited to establish a debate on the following topics.



ü  Gender, race and cultural identity.

ü  The stigmas of gender.

ü  Discrimination and racial prejudice manifestations in the Cuban, Latin American and Caribbean context

ü  Africans and Afro-descendants in the New World: transculturation, re-Africanization and multiculturalism, as current trends to study the African component in the New World.



ü  Africa from the pre-colonial period to contemporaneity. Relations of Africa with the World from the perspective of the different disciplines.

ü  The African contribution as a component of the national identity of the peoples of America and the Caribbean, for a recognition of our historical subject.  Emergence and development of the concept of nationality in the peoples of the area

ü  Political-cultural relations between Africa and the countries of the Americas and the Caribbean.



ü  Studies on the African oral tradition and its development in the diaspora.

ü  Diachrony and synchrony in linguistic, philosophical, and literary studies on Africa, America, and the Caribbean.

ü  The black as an author and character in the literature of America and the Caribbean.


ü  Africa in the twenty-first century. The current religious and cultural problems of the continent.

ü  Situation of african traditional religions today and America and the Caribbean.

ü  The so-called universal religions and their influence on the African, American and Caribbean context.


A- Workshop "Color and form"

Dedicated to all the manifestations of the plastic arts in which the African footprint is evidenced. Painters, sculptors, ceramists, engravers and photographers may participate, with theoretical works related to the following topics:

ü  The African footprint in the plastic arts of the New World. Spheres of contact and influence.

ü  The plastic arts in the African continent.

ü  The concept of the artist in Africa and America.

ü  Expressions of Raciality in works of art. The black as an artist and subject of the different plastic expressions

They can also participate with a sample of their work, with no more than three pieces, which will be exhibited in a collective room or after coordination with the direction of the event with an online exhibition.

The regulations of your registration are in accordance with the general rules of the event.

B- Workshop "Images"

Dedicated to cinema and ethnological video, which collects the image and treatment given to the African footprint and its consequent social development in the culture of America, and To African cinema.

Participants will be able to show videos and present theoretical works on topics such as:

ü  Literature, film and video. Treatment of the African descendant in the media.

ü  The ethnological video. His contribution to the knowledge of the African reality and the process of transculturation of it in the New World.

ü  The treatment of the racial issue in film, video and photography

Participants must enter the deadline for admission of works, the technical means necessary for their samples. Videos and other film materials may not exceed 30 minutes in length.

The regulations of your registration are in accordance with the general regulations of the event.

C- Workshop "The ancestral rhythm"

Dedicated to music and dances of African origin.

Choreographers, musicians, dancers, musicologists and scholars in general may participate, who may discuss the following topics:

ü  Music and dance in Africa: history, evolution and current situation on the continent.

ü  The African influence on the music and dances of the New World. Analogies, differences, changes and process of creation, until the formation of national music.

ü  The African element as the basis of montages of works musician - dances.

ü  Folk groups with only for blacks and mestizos?

Videos that do not exceed 15 minutes in length may be presented, it being understood that these functions are part of their exhibition at the event.

D - Workshop "Mask"

Dedicated to theatre

ü  The African footprint and Afro-descendants on the scene, for a contemporary vision ofthem.

Actors, theatre directors, set designers and theatre scholars in general may participate and may exchange experiences based on the following topics underdiscussion:

        Presence of African elements in theatrical productions.

        Afro-descendants in the tables as subjects of history and as playwrights.

        Theatre in Africa.

In the cases of groups that decide to participate in full, they may present videos of up to 15 minutes in length with the staging or part of it, these functions are part of their exhibition at the event. The registration regulations are the general ones of the event.

IIIº- SYMPOSIUM: Medicine and Culture

Space dedicated to the relationships established between the medical sciences and the disciplines of the social sciences from the practice of Cuban internationalist medicine and other health organizations that also establish intercultural contacts through the medical route. Where doctors will present their experiences both in the field of medicine with works properly of the specialty.

Papers may be submitted on:

ü  Psychiatry and religion.

ü  Traditional African medicine. Its evolution and relationship with others in the New World. 

ü  Traditional Natural Medicine in Africa and America.

ü  The Cuban Medical Experience in Africa. Relations between and Culture. la Medicina

ü  Médecins Sans Frontières and other similar organizations in their practice of medicine and culture. 

ü  Epidemics, viruses and disease control in Africa.

ü  Medicine, medical policies and human relations.

ü  Endemic diseases in Africa and america.

ü  Disease and Ethnicity. 


A- Reception of the papers

The works must be identified by: title, names and surnames of the author(s), scientific degree, teaching category, institution and country of origin, address, telephone, fax, e-mail. They will be translated into other languages and will be translated into Spanish in the Minutes Book of the event.

The works will be presented in space and a half in arial letter of 12 pages, footnotes at the end of each page and the bibliography included at the end of the text.

In the case of workshops, both theoretical works and photographs of plastic arts exhibitions, abstracts, photos and files of film and plastic works must be sent to be included in the Conference Book.

Papers that do not arrive with the data specified in the previous paragraph will not be accepted

They will be received until February 28,  2022.  

Only works that meet the above requirements will be published. The Organizing Committee is not responsible for the publication of works that, despite being accepted, arrive after the dates recorded as admission.

V- Workshops

The participants in the workshops in the case of plastic artists must send a brief curriculum of no more than two pages and photographs of the exhibition that they are going to present to be included in the book of Proceedings, also theatrists and dancers will accompany the synopsis of their works, to be presented and a curriculum no larger than one page,  and if it is a group an information about the same content of its history no greater than three pages, since they will be included in the Minutes of the event.

The Organizing Committee reserves the right to accept or not the papers in all cases, will inform the interested parties about the matter until March 15, 2022

Registration Fee:

Speakers / Delegates  1500.00 CUP

Students: 1000.00

International participants: 200.00 CL

VIII- Languages

English, French and Spanish

IX - Contacts

Dr Marta And Cordiés Jackson

Director of the African Cultural Center "Fernando Ortiz"

General Coordinator of the XVII Conference

            (53–22) 623893 (nights)

E-mail: martacordies@gmail.com


Given that the pandemic still stalks us, the Organizing Committee will maintain the hybrid modality of participation for those people outside Santiago who, not being able to travel, can send their work within the consigned dates and then send a video no longer than 5 minutes with the summary of their presentation.

The Pandemic has also delayed the departure of this call which makes the times shorten and have allowed us to put a limit on the date of admission, given that there would only be one month left to be able to make the bilingual Minutes book that the event carries.










Havana Times Debate Over July 11-12 Trial and Punishment

                        Original source  
  • January 18, 2022 at 12:46 pm

    Yes there was some looting of the US dollar stores that divide Cuban society, and when the State Security and Police violently attacked the peacefull unarmed protestors on President Diaz Canel’s TV combat order, yes some kids threw rocks at the attackers. A very small minority defended themselves, the vast majority just took the beating or got away or got arrested. And just like in the USA the Cuban government is known for using state security agent provocateus to break some windows or other violence to justify the Police assault. And guess what, none of police, state security or other civilian attackers of the peaceful marchers have been investigated, jailed, tried and/or sentenced. What was very clear was that they were large peaceful unarmed protests in dozens of cities on July 11, 2021.

  • January 18, 2022 at 11:26 am


    We have probably reached the end of this string. I agree with you that Cuba overreacted to July 11-12 in arrests and violent treatment of protestors, and about the harsh sentencing emerging from trials, but we disagree over how the US can productively and humanely respond.

    Do you agree that some of the protestors committed acts that would be considered criminal here, or do you follow the view of excusers of violence in US racial justice protests and Tania Bruguera about Cuba.

    “[Vandalizing] the food stores means they are hungry and there is no way they have access to food. And turning over the police cars is saying they have enough of the police abuse. The people have spoken very clearly….” https://cubapeopletopeople.blogspot.com/2021/08/violence-in-protests-outside-involvement.html

    Like during the Black Spring trials (and some trials in the US), I believe that objective justice is not being provided by the courts. But I also do not take as self-evident truth the claims of total innocence by protestors and their supporters and family members.

    I have no illusion that my call for a diplomatic solution will be taken seriously be either government. Cuba will pay a price by alienating sectors of domestic opinion because of its draconian court actions, as often happens in the US in reaction to unfair politicized trials. The US will pay a price by losing any positive influence in Cuba’s evolution and by advantaging Russia and China as they seek to offset US presence in their proclaimed spheres of interest.

  • January 18, 2022 at 8:41 am

    John, this is an apples and oranges situation. To lift the embargo major change would have to take place first in the US Congress and the White House. As you note that doesn’t seem in the cards for the forseeable future. Cuba is very different and the Cuban government can right its terrible injustice on its own. The Communist Party/government does what ever it decides and has a guaranteed unanimous support of the National Assembly. A recent example is the highly unpopular economic reforms of January 2021. It didn’t and doesn’t matter that the situation for many has become much worse, they have total support from their legislature for any decision action they want to take. That doesn’t mean the burocrats will implement it efficientely but as to decisions they have a free reign. So to make a long story short, the Cuban government can act unilaterally to right its terrible wrong of attacking unarmed protestors and jailing well over a thousand and carrying out bogus trials and imposing Draconian sentences. It’s an internal matter totally in their hands. The embargo is a complicated foreign policy / congressional matter.

  • January 17, 2022 at 11:36 pm


    I agree that ending the embargo is a big lift. Expecting the Cuban government to “set free and annul the sentences of all its political prisoners and for starters the hundreds of people who protested on July 11th” is an equally big lift.

    A unilateral embargo is an act of economic warfare and conditions everything, including deep mistrust of US motives even when we do good things. It is closely linked to the goal of regime change. Add in millions of dollars annually for USAID and NED “democracy” programs, Radio and TV Marti and presumably covert regime change funding, you are asking more of Cuba than the US has manifested when it feels under threat.*

    Cuba was too cautious in its reaction to Obama, too fearful of Trojan Horses. I have wondered if Obama had followed the example of the Popes and made a courtesy call to Fidel whether the reaction would have been different. It is also clear that the US did not do as much as it could, most notably on banking agreements and letting Cuba join International Financial Institutions and receive infrastructure loans. Obama could have solved the Guantanamo problem had he followed the path opened by Ben Rhodes and Alejandro Castro. Unfortunately both governments put off harder steps, assuming that President Hilary Clinton would move the process forward.

    Biden-Harris did much to create the current impossible situation by ignoring their campaign pledges. Refusal to abandon Trump by restoring remittances, travel, regional flights, exchanges, etc. had both material and psychological impact on the hope Cubans had put on hold during the Bolton/Claver-Carone era of Trump. It also affected Cuban government attitudes about the space it could risk giving to opposition. My personal hope is that going back to Obama-Castro would be enough to prompt release of all but the most violent and destructive protestors. The additional step of legalization of all travel and normal agricultural sales would provide more confidence in the permanence of rapprochement.

    Restoring Obama should happen because it is “a unilateral action to do what is right, not because of some future deal with” Cuba.

    In reality, neither side will budge because it is in principle the right thing to do. Both will need a diplomatic arrangement that is mutually beneficial and face saving. Self-righteous rhetoric from President Biden, Secretary Blinken, the Congress and American editors may score points in Florida and with Menendez but will not impress other countries and will do absolutely nothing to free the prisoners.


    * US response to perceived threats to its governing system: 1) Civil War = martial law, suspension of habeas corpus; 2) post Civil War = Jim Crow, radical reconstruction; 3) World War I = Palmer Raids, imprisonment of socialist leaders; 4) World War II = Japanese internment; 5) Cold War = McCarthyism, anti-communist purges in unions, schools, Hollywood and government; 6) 9/11= rendition, suspension of habeas corpus, black sites, torture, Guantanamo prison, forced feeding of hunger strikers

  • January 17, 2022 at 8:05 pm

    John, to end the embargo you will have to convince the Republicans especially the likes of Rubio, Cruz, and the demo Menendez, etc. I wish you luck. To me and others it is a lost cause. Those of us that oppose the embargo can keep saying end it, its not right, like virtually all the world at the UN, but that’s been going on for 30 years and neither under Republican or Democratic presidents has there been any real interest in the decision makers to repeal it. So what can Cuba do to promote the type of rapproachment between Obama and Raul Castro, that by the way had a big bucket of water thrown on it by Fidel and that was that. The Cubans blew the opportunity for quick advances at the end of the Obama presidency (or just didn’t want that) and then came Trump… In my opinion the Cuban government should set free and annul the sentences of all its political prisoners and for starters the hundreds of people who protested on July 11th. It should be a unilateral accion to do what is right, not because of some future deal with the US. By holding summary trials on fabricated charges and imposing ridiculously long sentences makes it very hard for Biden to do anything regarding a new opening with Cuba. He wouldn’t even have blanket democratic party support to do so, let alone the needed number of Republicans (in the case of the embargo). And the ending of the embargo is not even on the agenda. The ball is clearly in the Cuban government’s park to not continue to repress its people and not present an easy pretext for nothing to change in relations with the US.

  • January 17, 2022 at 7:25 pm


    The question is not whether one supports or opposes the July 11-12 protests; or whether one thinks they were largely a reaction to difficult conditions of life or a conscious political protest; or if one believes they were the result of the embargo and US democracy interventions over the past decade or the consequence of Biden’s continuation of Trump’s harsh policies in the time of Covid; or the long awaited beginning of the end of the Cuban revolution.

    The question is whether the hundreds of mostly young prisoners stay in prison until the regime falls–or if it doesn’t for ten to twenty years.

    Cuba can be like US cities that want to punish protestors harshly enough to discourage similar acts in the future by others. The US can treat Cuba differently than Columbia and other allied countries that have far worse records of killing and arresting protestors to indulge the return to power fantasies of politically powerful exiles.

    Or the two countries can negotiate a mass release that enables people to regain their lives in Cuba or as emigrants and get back on the path that Barack Obama and Raul Castro opened, an imperfect accommodation of two different systems that cannot escape each other so need to find a way to live side by side–just as must Russia and Ukraine and China and Vietnam and England and Ireland.

    I watched the video months ago. It offers a compelling argument, but it is just one argument. I believe his commendable hopes for change could be advanced furthest and fastest by the US ending the embargo, not by the country’s deeply established system surrendering to the wishes of the big neighbor.

    My recommendation is that everyone read Dr. Lou Perez “Cuba as an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder”. The problem did not begin in July, or when Fidel Castro’s revolution took power, or at the time of the Cuban-Spanish-American War. The only solution is mutual respect and tolerance between our countries and self-determined natural evolution that includes greater political rights for all sectors of opinion.

  • January 17, 2022 at 11:45 am

    It is common in protest related trials in the US that defendants charge the police and prosecution with making up evidence and insist they are completely innocent. Sometimes that is true, sometimes it is not.

    About 14,000 people were arrested during racial justice demonstrations in the US during the spring and summer of 2020. A data base has been compiled of 1429 cases (including 367 federal) facing felony charges. https://theprosecutionproject.org/2020/12/22/tracking-federal-cases-related-to-summer-protests-riots-uprisings/

    In Cuba someone looted stores, threw rocks and destroyed vehicles on July 11-12 because we have seen the videos, but maybe it was not these defendants.

    The problem is we don’t know and won’t know.

    In any case, objectively the punishments appear disproportionate to the charges.

    Partisans of the protestors and from the governments of Cuba and the US can spin numbers and stories in dueling press statements and tweets for years while those convicted sit in deplorable prison conditions. They are useful symbols for all sides.

    After the trials are finished the two governments should negotiate a path to release that undoes contributing factors from the Trump/Biden sanctions against remittances, travel, consular authority, etc. Ideally negotiators will go to the underlying problem and finally end the unilateral US embargo that has received virtually universal legal and political condemnation, including by Archipielago leader Yunior Garcia.

    There is precedent for resolving criminal charges politically: 1113 Bay of Pigs POWs freed in 1961 for medical supplies valued today at $463 million; intervention by the Catholic Church and Spain leading to release of 75 victims of the Black Spring in 2011, followed by the end of European sanctions; the exchange of USAID contractor Alan Gross for three Cuban spies in 2014 opening the door to normalization of diplomatic relations.

    The question is whether there are leaders in either government who can rise above real and immediate conflicts and their own sense of justice to find a humanitarian solution that opens the door to long term reconciliation domestically and bilaterally.