is a unique, six-day, social documentary photo exhibit at YMWAHA focusing on Cuba’s African   descendants living in the capital city of Havana. The entire, week-long event, entitled AFRICAMÉRICAS will engage a multicultural cross-section of Pittsburghers by offering an historical & contemporary perspective of Afro-Cuban & Afro-Latin life. Other activities during AFRICAMÉRICAS include conversations, presentations & roundtable discussions by visiting Cuban scholars & activists, films, drum and dance workshops, and performances by Coro Latinoamericano-Pittsburgh, Balafon West African Dance Ensemble, LACU Dancers, Salsa Ritmo Dancers, Latina Productions, and Slippery Rock University Afro-Colombian Dance Ensemble on Saturday, May 11.  ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
For a full schedule of activities log on to or call 412-345-1047 or write to

eng CROSSING HAVANA FINAL (4-9-13 redo2) 2

                                              AFRICAMÉRICAS WEEK (with Crossing Havana exhibit
May 6   4:30-6:00PM
Conversation on Deliberative Democracy & Civil Rights in Cuba
CMU-UC-Dowd Room (Oakland)
With Dr. Robert Cavalier and Cuban scholar-activists Juan Antonio Madrazo, Leonardo Calvo Cárdenas, Manuel Cuesta Morúa, Rafel Campoamor and Dr. Juan Antonio Alvarado, all members of the Comité Ciudadanos por la Integración Racial [Citizens’ Committee for Racial Integration] (Cuba) and regular contributors to the journal ISLAS.
May 6   4:00-9:00PM
Exhibit openingCrossing Havana” Reception 7-9PM
Young Men and Women’s African Heritage Association (YMWAHA) (Northside)
A social documentary photo exhibit about real, current living conditions for many black Cubans in Havana. The photographs were taken by Juan Antonio Madrazo, a black, Cuban, civil rights activist who is also the National Coordinator of the Comité Ciudadanos por la Integración Racial [Citizens’ Committee for Racial Integration] (CIR), the island’s premier, independent, civic organization devoted to fighting racism, discrimination and civic disengagement. Pre-opening: 4:00-7:00PM; Official opening with reception: 7:00-9:00PM.
May 7   12:00-8:00PM
Exhibit open—YMWAHA (Northside)
May 7   5:00-6:30PM
Film afternoon I-Roots of My Heart (2001) by Gloria Rolando
YMWAHA (Northside)
Mercedes, a Cuban woman from Havana, begins to decipher her family secrets through the photo of her great-grandparents, María Victoria y José Julián. Between reality and the world of her dreams, she will learn about the ties this couple— especially her great-grandfather—had with the Independents of Color, a political party formed in 1908 and the massacre of 1912. 51 minutes.
May 7   7:30-9:30PM
Film night I-Raíces (2001) by Banco Popular
CMU-UC Connan Room (Oakland)
A television special funded by Puerto Rico’s Banco Popular about the influence of Africa on two of the island’s musical genres, particularly the bomba and plena. It features numerous prominent Puerto Rican musicians and performers, among them La familia Cepeda, Marc Anthony, La India, José Feliciano, Danny Rivera, Lucecita Benítez and Angel “Cuco”Peña. 90 minutes.
May 8   12:00-8:00PM
Exhibit open—YMWAHA (Northside)
May 8   5:00-6:30PM
Film afternoon II-My Footsteps in Baragua (1996) by Gloria Rolando YMWAHA (Northside)
In Baragua, in the present province of Ciego de Avila, Cuba, the stories and customs of the English-speaking West Indian immigrants who worked on the Panama Canal, and their descendants, are still alive. Today, they are a part of Cuba, but their traditions live on. This film is dedicated to three important Caribbean intellectuals—Nicolas Guillén (Cuba), George Lamming (Barbados) and Rex Nettleford (Jamaica). 52 minutes.
May 8   7:00-9:00PM
ISLAS journal presentation, with panel & reception
City of Asylum (Northside) RSVP to COA required
Four Cuban scholars and civil rights activists—Juan Antonio Madrazo Luna, Leonardo Calvo Cárdenas, Manuel Cuesta Morúa and Rafel Campoamor, will be joined by Juan Antonio Alvarado, Editor-in-Chief of the bilingual journal ISLAS, a publication dedicated to the issue of racism and discrimination in Cuba and elsewhere, to discuss the grassroots work their organization and others are doing in Cuba. They will also be discussing the role of ISLAS as a space in which by publishing articles they can educate people about racism and discrimination in Cuba and dialogue with other civil rights activists around the world about shared problems and strategies for resolving them.
*This event is free but requires registration through City of Asylum*
May 9   12:00-8:00PM
Exhibit openYMWAHA (Northside)
May 9   7:30-9:30PM
Film night II-Breaking the Silence: 1912 (2010) by Gloria Rolando
CMU-UC-Peter-McKenna Room (Oakland)
Chapter One of this documentary series explores the history of the Independent Party of Color in Cuba (PIC), the first black political party in this hemisphere (1908) and its violent repression, in 1912, by the Cuban government and army—an episode that left more than 3000 people dead. Relying heavily on archival material and personal interviews, the filmmaker reveals a history that has been relatively ignored for over 110 years in Cuba. Of additional importance for us now is that the PIC’s list of demands regarding most of this population’s hopes and desires, back between 1908-1912, is as cogent today as it was over a hundred years ago. With a Q&A and discussion period afterwards. 60 minutes.
May 10   12:00-8:00PM
Exhibit openYMWAHA (Northside)
May 10   5:00-6:30PM
Film afternoon III-Suite Habana (2003) by Fernando Pérez
YMWAHA (Northside)
A semi-documentary film that employs fictional cinema techniques and no dialogue to follow the lives of 13 residents of Havana, Cuba, as they face the challenges—personal and professional—of one given day. A graceful testimony to the resilience of the Cuban people. 80 minutes.
May 10   7:30-9:30PM
Performance-Poetry in Motion   
CMU-Rangos III (Oakland)
A presentation of Hispanic style ‘spoken word’ (declamación) and rhythmic accompaniment by local Pittsburgher’s María Eugenia “Geña” Nieves, from Puerto Rico, with poems by Puerto Rican poet Luis Palés Matos, and Eloy Nepo Leguia, from Peru, with décimas (ten-line, octosyllabic poetry) by Afro-Peruvian Nicomedes Santa Cruz. English-language translations will be available.
May 11   12:00-3:00PM
Exhibit openYMWAHA (Northside)
May 11     4:00-5:30PM
Five Afro-Latin Workshops   Frick Fine Arts Building (Oakland)
1. Afro-Cuban arts, crafts, music, dance and Spanish-language workshop (for children) w/Dr. Shawn Alfonso Wells.
2. Afro-Latin percussion workshop (for adolescents, teens, adults) w/Geña Nieves and Preach Freedom.
3. Afro-Latin dance workshop (for children, adolescents, teens, adults) w/Gloria Ransom and company.
4. Steel Pan workshop (for children, adolescents, adults) w/Phil Solomon.
5. Session on Cuban civil rights (for teens and adults) w/Dr. Juan Antonio Alvarado and Cuban civil rights activists Juan Antonio Madrazo, Leonardo Calvo Cárdenas, Manuel Cuesta Morúa, Rafel Campoamor.
All workshops require prior registration.
May 11     5:30-7:00PM
Frick Fine Arts Building (Oakland)
May 11     7:00-9:30PM
Frick Fine Arts Auditorium  (Oakland)
A performance of Afro-Latin American choral music by Pittsburgh’s Coro Latinoamericano and dance performances by the Balafon West African Dance Ensemble, a coalition of Latin American Cultural Union, Salsa Ritmo and Latina Productions dancers and the Slippery Rock UniversityAfro-Colombian Dance Ensemble

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