Here we are in China. Great people, great food, and more screenings to come. The individual is alive and well and looking for ways to express him/herself here. The questions asked are challenging, the comments inspired, and I forget I have traveled to the other side of the world to have this exchange. Three architects in Cuba and the story of their struggles speak to the struggles of artists in every country. For political, financial, or cultural reasons, freedom of expression can be a challenge anywhere. Here were some great moments from the audience:
- “The art schools that remain unfinished in Cuba are a metaphor for the struggle of artists everywhere and the hope that time can vindicate the ones who remain true to their ideals.”
- “It’s a sad story, but one that we can learn from and hopefully be inspired by.”
The most striking feeling is that the comments I am hearing through an interpreter are comments I want to make as well. In Chinese, in English, through the act of watching a film about Cuba, we are one audience. We are finding a space for one dialogue. Space influences interactions, and in spite of the empty cities on the horizon (massive-scale construction is everywhere), we are able to create our own inspired space through the act of sharing art. I will be leaving China with a renewed belief in art as a way to find common ground for constructive discussion. It’s a belief I will be relying on at home as much as abroad.