The digital magazine “Consenso“* is putting at the disposition of its readers a portfolio which contains almost all of the texts that were circulating via electronic messages among numerous Cuban intellectuals in the months of January and February of 2007, and which comprise a historic virtual debate about Cuban cultural policies of the last 48 years.
As is well-known today, everything began when the young writer Jorge Ángel Pérez sent a message expressing his surprise and disgust at the Cuban television appearances of various personages who, in the 70s, were responsible for one of the darkest periods in national culture. Almost immediately the essayist Desiderio Navarro, the art critic Orlando Hernández and the writers Antón Arrufat, Reinaldo González and Arturo Arango joined the debate using e-mail that circulated among hundreds of addresses inside and outside of Cuba.
The portfolio we show here contains a hundred or so participants, many of them with more than one message sent. Messages appear from inside Cuba, those which arrived from overseas, those signed by relevant figures, and those subscribed by persons unknown, where pseudonyms were not lacking. There are texts, photos and caricatures; there are the academics and the passionate and from there, those of all participating positions. The sources have been diverse; from the Granma newspaper to the digital magazine Encuentro on the ‘Net, but fundamentally we have received generous help from friends who have passed to us messages received by them.
To ease searching, each participant occupies a page with all his messages organized chronologically and on each page the reader will have in sight a dynamic index in alphabetic order through which he can access the rest of the participants.
We beg our readers that if they discover they are missing messages to please send them to our mailbox: email@example.com and, more importantly, through our pages please give continuity to this debate, for nobody definitely has considered its conclusion a given. This portfolio will stay open as long as the problems posed are not solved. The digital magazine Consenso inaugurates with this debate its portfolio space in which — in free (gratis) form — we will open a space for those who desire their own.
* Translator’s note: Consenso translates into consensus. In this case it is the title of the publication being referred to, not consensus in its literal state.
Translated by: JT
January 31, 2007