Havana, a solo show by Leandro Feal, is focused on a series that documents life surrounding the Roma bar, with themes such as sexual liberation, the cores of intimate and private freedom that happen within a context with characteristics of collectivization and normalization of the experience, a whole counterculture that might even be included inside the greater narrative of Cuban identity.
Why the Roma bar? Because it is one of the few private businesses that has settle itself as a space not only for consumption but also for cultural expression, a site where concurs a large part of the current Cuban artistic avant-garde and that has been visited by international artists, celebrities and local characters of the island intellectuality, and from different gene- rations. As well as a group of young people who have decided to bet on an image of a cosmopolitan Cuba, different, but at the same time with the authentic stamp of a context marked by its political and economic characteristics.
The Roma bar is also one of the nuclei where you can see the atmosphere of cultural and economic openness in recent years in Cuba, where many young people come together; persons who have finished their university studies or in the course of them have preferred the private work in various ways, a small alternative economy society with more access to money that generates a different lifestyle, sometimes very linked to Havana night. Places like Studio 54, or Andy Warhol’s Factory, or the Factory from the rave scene in Manchester, or the cafe Lhemitz from the photos by André Petersen, or the mythical bars of the Movida Madrileña are proof of the importance of this kind of sites in the process of gestation and expansion towards new cultural sensitivities.
Parasol Unit hosted a screening of the artist video work "Hotel Roma", followed by an in-conversation with Leandro Feal, Andreas Siegfried, and Parasol Unit director Ziba Ardalan.