Winds of change are blowing in Havana
May is a real tough month for culture vultures in Havana. Put quite simply, there is not enough time—too many things to do, places to go. There is definitely something for everyone this month.
Cuba is celebrating its 9th Jornada Cubana Contra la Homofobia from May 10 to May 21, coinciding with the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) on May 17. Not to miss is the colorful and lively traditional gay parade to the beat of conga drums that will start out on the Malecón and will continue along Calle 23 down to Pabellón Cuba.
May is a month packed with various cultural activities: Cubadisco, the Cuban version of the Grammys, will shake things up from May 14 to 22 while Mayo Teatral, the Latin American and Caribbean Theater Season, is a real highlight for fans of the performing arts.
A high spotlight in May is the French Culture Month with an all-encompassing program of music, theater, visual arts, dance, architecture, design and film events. And the French Cinema Festival, created back in 1997, has become an important festival recognized not only in Cuba and France, but internationally as well.
The House of Chanel is presenting “Obra en Proceso/Work in Progress,” an unseen-before photography exhibition by its head designer and creative director, Karl Lagerfeld, at Factoría de Arte in Old Havana.
Many things are happening in Havana and it’s no wonder people are saying it’s the place to be at right now.
Just a little over a month ago, President Obama visited Cuba with his family, while that same week, the Rolling Stones gave a legendary concert in the Cuban capital. Rihana and model Joan Smalls came to Havana for photo shoots, and Usher chose this city to get married. Now, the eighth instalment of the Fast and Furious series, due to be released in April 2017, is being shot here, while the Adonia Cruiser, the first to sail from the US to Cuba in more than a half century, made its entrance in Havana Harbor on May 1. In the light of these events and the increase of visitors, many people assure that Havana is in fashion.
And demonstrating this in a big way, Karl Lagerfeld made history on May 3 with the presentation of the Chanel Cruise 2016-2017 Collection, the first show by Chanel in Latin America. The beautiful tree-lined 18th-century promenade Paseo del Prado became Lagerfeld’s catwalk for this historical show.
A number of models arrived in Havana, like British Stella Tennant, one of Lagerfeld’s muses, who attended this past Sunday the opening of the couturier’s photography exhibit, a preamble
to the Chanel Show in Havana. At least half of the models are Cuban, selected by the Chanel team in a casting held months ago. But surely, the spotlight shined on one male model. Tony Castro, grandson of Fidel Castro, was signaled out as the grand star of the Chanel show.
Yes, winds of change are blowing in Havana.