Revolutionary Sundays
19 January – 13 March 2011

A woman, dressed in a pantsuit resembling a disco ball, stands on a plinth. Spotlit, she is performing for an audience in a darkened environment.

See Cuba before it’s too late!

What better way to see Cuba before it’s too late than through the lens of the early years of the Revolution—and especially through the role women played? The 28,000 images of the Ante Archive provide a thirty-year window on the Cuban Revolution, yet were lost from sight until they were discovered in a Mexico City antique shop. (The archive is now housed in Colombia.)

Gilberto Ante (1925 – 1991) was a sugar cane worker who took up photography in 1950, collaborated with Castro’s 26th of July Movement, and became a photographer for the Presidential Palace press department on the success of the Revolution, where he was responsible for the official portrayal of the regime, for instance, photographing Castro’s speeches.

The exhibition is not, however, only the typical view of the Revolution and its socialist iconography. There are two sides to it, reflecting, on the one hand, Ante’s official work depicting socialist leadership and labour and, on the other hand, his off-time portraying daily life, with concentration here on the activity of women both in work and in play—for the Revolution also had its Sundays.

Revolutionary Sundays is organized by La Central, Bogotá. Special thank you to Familia Ante, Simon Hernández, Julian Lede, Héctor de la Cruz, Guillermo Santos, Francisco Toquica, and Katy Hernández and Beatriz Lopez, co-directors of La Central.

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