(Taken from Facebook Oriol Marrero, counselor of the Embassy of Cuba in Greece)
Second part (II): Athens.
In a previous publication, the first of the thematic series: "Cuba: a country sponsor of world solidarity and humanism, respect for life and friendship, promoter of peace and cultural encounters among all the peoples of the world", was shown the development of two Cuban photographic exhibitions in the maximum security prison for ladies in Thebes, Greece, as well as the holding of three unforgettable concerts by Cuban artists residing in Greece, and also by Greek artists, who joined in this humanistic gesture .
This is the second of some publications on the same subject that will be made until January 28, 2021, the day that marks the 168th anniversary of the birth of José Martí, National Hero of Cuba, and that as promised in the first, They will try to reflect, above all with images - also with brief but necessary comments -, the cultural, solidarity, peace, friendship and integration encounters, experienced in the almost 20 Cuban exhibitions shown in some ten cities of Greece - in addition to Manama, Bahrain, between 2018 and 2020.
Thus, during the months of June 2018 and 2019, the Francisco de Miranda cultural space of the Embassy of the sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Athens took place at the chosen site, the opening activities of the Cuban photographic exhibitions "With Cuba in the heart ”and“ José Martí: with Greece in the heart” respectively, within the framework and as part of the essential LEA Cultural Festival, Literature in Athens, exhibitions that would later be requested --and sincerely appreciated--, to be shown in other Greek cities.
In future parts of this series of articles, images of what happened in each one of them are going to be published –they have their own history–, since they are actions already carried out, although some were still pending, as is the case of a work center in a neighborhood of Athens; in Thessaloniki, the second largest city in the country; in the Parliament of the Greeks, in Sparta, Corinth, Chania, Missolonghi, Patras or in the Olympic Stadium itself where the opening of the Olympic Games in Athens 2004 took place. When the situation allows it, it will be.
For almost a year the commented and bilingual photographic exhibition "José Martí: with Greece in the heart" has been seen by thousands of Greek passengers and visitors to the city, in the Athens metro, at the Acropolis and Syntagma stations, where it is still on display, with texts in Greek and Spanish. Also in Lefkada, Trícala, Tripoli, Thebes, Kalamata, Crete, Trílofos, Ikaría, Larisa, Nea Smyrna in Athens, and Manama.
It is estimated that, without counting the Athens metro where it is in the two main stations whose influx is almost one million passengers a day, more than 30 thousand people have been able to get a little closer to Cuba from these modest actions, and Above all, learn more about the unsuspected love of Martí, National Hero, writer, poet, journalist, translator -including his translations from the Greek language-, diplomat, consul, unifier, brother, humanist, anti-imperialist revolutionary and soldier, towards Greece and "the Greek".
Many friends of Cuba, Greeks and not only, Cuban citizens residing in Greece, numerous representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Athens, Ambassadors, invited writers to the LEA Festival, and later attend the crowded opening meetings of the exhibitions, as well as later. people from other countries who are interested, since not a few visitors from Greece who coincide with the exhibitions have come to see them, as several of them have reflected in their own handwriting in the visitors' book.
The concerts of the Cuban artists residing in Greece in each expo were and will be an essential cultural component: the island of Ikaría may not forget the night of the expo "José Martí: with Greece in the heart" when the Cuban artist residing in Greece Marlen Olano performed in Greek and Spanish the song “Honeymoon”, by the renowned Greek composer and conductor Mikis Theodorakis, 95 years old, born in 1925.
Mikis visited Cuba at the time, he spoke with Fidel, there was an encounter between the two of essential substance, which is published on YouTube. It is recommended. Also listen to his, "Dance of Zorba", that kind of Parthenon, of the world Acropolis of contemporary Greek music, immortalized in the film "Life and Adventures of Alexis Zorbas" (1946), by Michael Cacoyannis, starring Anthony Quinn, about the work of Nikos Kazantzakis.
Precisely at a stage in his life and in his struggles, Mikis Theodorakis was confined and isolated on Ikaría Island, and there the Cuban artist Marlen sang to Mikis's work the night of the exhibition.
When the expo "José Martí: with Greece in the heart" was held on the distant island of Ikaría, how could it be otherwise, we visited the isolated, secluded and distant stone house where Mikis was confined, I took pictures of those lonely stones, almost abandoned. And I "uploaded" some. What a surprise - and excitement - when after a few months the Cuban artist Oniel Rodríguez sent me a photo of his watercolor painting of him, of Mikis's house, based on one of these photos. Thanks Marlen, thanks Oniel. It's about the essences.
Martí continues to fight. They admire him, and the people of Greece go for his source of inspiration, as he once sought source of inspiration in Greece. It is inspiring to see with facts how the work and the word of Martí is renewed and continues to fight beyond his homeland: for humanism, for peace, freedom, sovereignty, with everyone, for the good of all: and in that inspiration they see Cuba, like Cuba, Marti, sees with Martí that "Homeland is Humanity."
So the central theme that occupies these modest exhibitions is not about images, but about meanings. It transcends the image attached to the wall to try to generate a dialogue committed to the essence of Marti, a common language, which is accessible to the citizen of the world, because Marti´s language is universal, and it is humanistic.
José Martí wrote a lot about Greece and particularly about Athens. Athens is the Greek city most quoted by the Apostle of the Independence of Cuba. He did it in his journalistic works, and also translated works by other authors on Greek and Athenian antiquities, on life, sculpture, architecture, on the streets, stadiums, on the end of the year, the Penteli marbles, the Parthenon , the culture in Athens, and throughout Greece, and also about their struggles for independence, among other issues, without being a Hellenist or a centrist Hellenist.
"José Martí: with Greece in the heart" only tries to reflect some of these links and essences. He hopefully achieves it to some extent.
In the following images: opening of the Cuban photographic exhibitions of June 2018 and 2019 in the Francisco de Miranda cultural space, in Athens.