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Voices of Cuba

by AMNH on

On Exhibit posts

In the special exhibition ¡Cuba! you’ll learn about life on the island from those who are experiencing— and influencing—this national period of transition. Here are just a few of the Cuban citizens who shared their thoughts and voices with us.


Francisco “Chichío” Griñan Sánchez  Director, La Campana Folkloric Company, Holguín, Cuba

Francisco stands in front of bass drum and other musical equipment. He wears a white cap, shirt, pants and shoes, holds a toddler-aged child.

In Cuba, I am not afraid of anything, of any change. I don’t have to live with the changes because I make the changes, and I myself am the change.


Mirta Roque  Hairdresser, Havana, Cuba

Mirta stands next to an old-fashioned style leather barber chair, with the mirrors of the salon in view behind her.

There is so much speculation about this country, and people really don’t know anything about it. If people were to come, it might change their minds about the country and its people.


Nomi Ramirez  Activist, Cuban National Center for Sex Education, Havana, Cuba

Nomi leans stands outside, leaning against a brightly colored concrete building.

It’s strange to think about what defines you. I think that more than anything, the kindness, warmth, the preparedness that we have is what defines us as Cubans.


Katherine Acevedo  Ballet Dancer, Camagüey, Cuba

Katherine practices ballet, and stands on one leg en pointe, her other leg resting on the barre and one arm raised.

Here, as we are, we can do anything. You are not hindered or anything. What you have to do is fight and work and go for it. I would want to have my own ballet school or my own company—so that others can keep on dancing, to make their dreams come true. 


Pablo “Pollo” Riverón  Musician, Santa Clara, Cuba

Pablo sits outside on the steps leading to the entrance of his building and plays an acoustic guitar.

Changes are taking place, yes. But at times I don’t know if they are good or bad. For instance, I don’t want my country to turn into an extremely capitalist country. Cuban society is suffering, it’s becoming consumerist, without having anything to consume.


All images © AMNH/L. Mathieu-Léger

Learn more about Cuban life in ¡Cuba!, which is open to the public now and free for Members.  

A version of this story originally appeared in the winter 2017 issue of Rotunda, the Member magazine.