SANTIAGO DE CUBA._ As the Conservator Office‘s first cultural activity in honor of the city‘s 500th anniversary, the 24 panels with maps, recordings and photographs included in the Cartography and Landscapes of Santiago de Cuba exhibition on display at the Arte Soy gallery, bring the viewer back in time and space.
The graphic collection also celebrates the 498 years that have passed since the granting of the city title on April 28, 1522 and the 18 years since the creation of the City´s Conservator Office (CCO).
At the opening, Dr. Maria Elena Orozco, of the Oriente University, noted that the project uncovers the passing of time and the progressive building of the city from the 16th to the 20th century, affirming its identity and confirming its cultural importance.
The expert considered that each unit on show is a sequential tale, a clever play on an urban landscape that is sensed and latent, and one that is visible thanks to the minute detail of each of the chosen plans that compliment the photos and recordings in a dialogue between space, time, utopia, and essence.
She classified the maps and documents as jewels of the historic memories of the people of Santiago, with authentic urban landscapes such as those of Baltasar Diaz Priego from 1751 and of Luis Francisco Delmes from 1840, 1845, 1857, and 1861.
Orozco said that the exhibition marked a before and after in the history of Santiago de Cuba, as a city tour in which nature, although seeming to negate everything, remains defiantly ever present in the same site since foundation, offering a dignified resistance to natural imponderables.
The Art History specialist highlighted that “this is a project for the future that will simultaneously allow new generations to safeguard heritage values and allow those involved in decision-making regarding citizen progress to develop an urban vision that protects this secular legacy and fairly evaluate future interventions, extensions, and projections.“
As part of the exhibit, a placard alludes to a special plan for the revitalization of the historic city that refers to project collaboration between the municipal government and the Galician Council of Spain.
In recent times, the Arte Soy gallery has occupied an old building that was renovated and revamped by the CCO in an area adjacent to what was once the Moncada Barracks -- now a Museum and the 26th of July School Complex -- and the second military fortress in the country, attacked by young revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro on that same date in 1953.
The display forms part of preparations underway in the city to celebrate, this July 25th and 26th, the 500th anniversary of the foundation of this historic settlement and the 62nd of the historic event that marked the beginning of the definitive end of the Cuban struggle for independence.Share on FB Share on TT