While in London our visiting Cuban artists Luis Camejo, Adislen Reyes, Mario Gonzalez and curator Chrislie Perez Perez went to speak to students and tutors at Goldsmiths college, University of London, with the emphasis on art education, talking to students training to be art teachers. Both Luis Camejo and Adislen Reyes also teach at art schools in Havana.
Visiting Cuban artists Adislen Reyes, Luis Camejo, Mario Gonzalez and curator Chrislie Perez went on to speak at Camberwell art college, University of the Arts, London, where up to 70 students crammed into the room with some turned away to hear the artists talk about the Cuban arts scene today. The students asked lots of questions including about artistic freedom and censorship. Chrislie responded saying: “There is a degree of censorship in every country but in Cuba artists are encouraged to experiment with any style and with no limits. In 1986 ‘artist’ became a category of profession which meant that artists could sell and receive payment for their work, pay a tax to the state and receive all universal benefits including health care and a pension. Whether or not they receive their income from the state or from selling their work makes no difference – they still have the same freedom and I don’t think it impacts on their work.” Adislen commented: “My art could have been controversial in the 60s or 70s but not now – our models have changed and there is always renovation in many areas – for example, male and female identities are much more fluid.”