“Expected and deserved”, this is how the director and representative of the regional office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), sees it, Anne Lemaistre, who He explains in an interview with EFE that this program “advocates for the conservation of audiovisual heritage, which is also the collective memory of the world.”
The presence of this Cuban collection in the international Memory of the World registry is, for Lemaistre, recognition of the “great creative originality found in these posters, the graphic beauty and the communicative effectiveness of these documents.”
Remember that since 1992 – when this category of the registry that includes audiovisuals and manuscripts was created – 430 heritage works have been registered for the world.
“I think these posters give Cuba great visibility, it is an image of Cuba among others and a visual education tool for an entire Cuban generation,” said Anne Lemaistre.
From Cuba, the writings of the José Martí Fund, hero of the country, have also been included; the negatives of the newsreel of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC) and original manuscripts of the Argentine-Cuban guerrilla Ernesto Che Guevara, including his campaign diary in Bolivia.
Lemaistre highlights the “immense” and “very special” talent of Cuban designers, who “with few means, but with the technique of screen printing, managed to encapsulate -with some colors and a very assertive design- the essence of a film” with “great visual impact”.
“I think these posters give Cuba great visibility, it is an image of Cuba among others and a visual education tool for an entire Cuban generation,” he said.
Along the same lines, Sara Vega, a specialist in graphics from the Cuban Cinematheque and in charge of the almost 3,000 pieces that make up the collection, is pleased for having contributed to “this being digitized, preserved and having this result at a national level.” international”.
In addition to protecting and studying the Cuban movie poster, Vega explained to EFE that his fundamental task is to expose the collection to the public because “heritage that is not made visible is as if it did not exist.”
Sara Vega, graphics specialist at the Cinemateca de Cuba and in charge of the almost 3,000 pieces that make up the collection, is pleased for having contributed to “this being digitized and having this result internationally.”
And in particular, he attaches great importance to making these pieces available to “the youngest, an emerging public, designers and students who need these references to move forward” in the visual arts of the Island.
Its declaration as a World Heritage Site is “super important” because it recognizes the meritorious work of many designers who participated in the promotion of both Cuban and foreign cinema as well as its festivals, retrospectives and exhibitions.
Vega recalls the history of Cuban movie posters after the creation of ICAIC in 1959 -with the triumph of the revolution-, when it was decided that the films to be exhibited in Cuba -both national and foreign- would be accompanied by a poster.
the cuban movie stories of the revolutiondirected by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, released in 1960, was the first fiction feature film made by ICAIC and the one that premiered the poster created by the designer Eduardo Muñoz Bachs.
Then the printing technique was changed from offset by screen printing and the format of the film poster would be standard. The designers, who came from advertising or the plastic arts, turned to creating symbols and metaphors, interpreting the theme of the film.
“In other words, the cinema took to the streets and brought the public into the theaters based on the actions of these designers with their posters,” says the specialist.
Among many of its creators, he cites the Cubans Rafael Morante, René Azcuy, Alfredo Rostgaard, Antonio Pérez ( Ñiko), the painters Servando Cabrera and Raúl Martínez, as well as the Chilean Roberto Matta and the Spanish Antonio Saura, among others.
Reproductions of this collection of film posters have been covering the walls and ceiling of the lobby of the ICAIC headquarters in Havana for years
They appropriated with the graphic the essence of films like Stolen Kisses, Lucía, Memories of Underdevelopment, Strawberry and Chocolate, The Last Supper, The Beauty of the Alhambra and Sacco and Vanzetti to accompany their promotion on the Island.
Reproductions of this collection of film posters have covered the walls and ceiling of the lobby of the ICAIC headquarters in Havana for years, a space that Vega sees as a permanent exhibition gallery.
The set of film posters and the capitular minutes of the Havana City Council (1550-1898) rose to the international level of the Memory of the World program on May 18, during the meeting of the Executive Council of Unesco.
The capitular minutes, belonging to the Office of the Historian of Havana, are gathered in 273 books, among them 200 originals, among which are drafts, resolutions and agreements made by the council of the Cuban capital from the 16th to the 18th century.
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