Living in America, where we have limitless access to the raunchiest smut on the web and can send emails without fear of the government reading them (okay that second one is a maybe), it’s hard to imagine daily life in Cuba, where internet censorship is still very much “a thing.” In fact, the image above, taken by artist Rodololfo Peraza, depicts one of 35 wifi access points that only just opened in Cuba. Crazy, right?
It therefore seems counterintuitive then that not-for-profit culture initiative BOFFO would select Cuba as the first theme for its latest digital exhibition series, but it turns out the struggles and anxieties that come with the lack connectivity in Cuba inspire art we can relate to worldwide.
Dubbed LIKE Cuba: Emerging Virtual Narratives, the series of digital artworks, which can be viewed via BOFFO’s Instagram, explore the challenges of Cuba’s lack of social connectivity – particularly in regards to social networks. Also prevalent throughout the series is a sense of hope – hope for Cubans to gain the ability to tweet, gram and snap at their leisure.
On view via Instagram now through December 22, the series presents work from a diverse group of Cuban artists, as curated by Peraza. The artists were challenged to view Insta both as a studio space and an exhibition platform. Highlights will include Mauricio Abad’s playful meme series, which showcase the political hopes of a community of underground internet users and Kevin Beovides take on the perilous tales of Cuban emigrants, presented in the form of epitaphs.
While we may still be somewhat disconnected from Cuba (despite the fact that we can now travel there – thanks Obama!), LIKE Cuba offers a window into a country we rarely have such intimate digital access to.