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Cuban graffiti artists bring social critique to Havana’s walls

Repeating Islands

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A report from Reuters.

The graffiti of alien-like beings and balaclava-clad men appearing on Havana’s dilapidated walls strikes a contrast with the upbeat political slogans and effigies of Cuban revolutionaries.

For a handful of young Cuban artists, these illicit creations are a means of touching on social issues in a coded way, ranging from fear of expressing oneself freely in public to growing materialism on the Communist-run island.

Graffiti was until recently uncommon in Cuba’s tightly controlled public spaces. Its emergence reflects greater scope for critical expression under President Raul Castro and increasing influence of international culture as the country slowly opens.

Like Cuba’s young bloggers, who are pushing the boundaries of what has been allowed in the media by starting news websites, its graffiti artists do not consider themselves dissidents and have been mostly tolerated by authorities.

“I want to create a social conscience with my work, an…

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