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Synopsis

Carlos, Pedro and Juanare three young Cuban homosexuals from Havana, Santa Clara and Las Tunas. All three derive from different socio-economic backgrounds, but they have in common the strive to express their sexual orientation in Cuba in the special period.

Carlos discovered to be gay at the age of 18. After finishing his career at the University of Havana he founded the Teatro Espontáneo de La Habana, a popular theatre group that performs their spontanous actions, e.g. in the Facultad de Artes y Letras of the University of Havana, the Allianza Francesa, the Pabellón Cuba or in one of the numerious casas de la cultura in Havana. Besides he is actively engaged in the anti-homophobia movement in today's Cuba.

Juan is black and homosexual, something that is considered the worst thing in Cuba. Due to racial and sexual discrimination he was forced to leave school early, but he was able to gain himself respect in society by establishing himself as a spiritualist sharing his gift with people in need. He also founded the first homosexual night club of Las Tunas.

Pedro lives in Santa Clara with his older lover and is part of a unique cultural space in Cuba, that was formed around the Mejunje, a night club founded by Cuban revolutionary and homosexual Silverio.

Methodology: I accompany all three of them in their daily activities during a period of at least 72 hours, using an ethnographic approach by realizing three film documentaries that last about one hour each.


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Why this investigation?

After Fidel Castro delegated power to his brother Raúl, there has not been big changes in Cuban politics and its official discourse (see The official discourse and its influence on spoken language in Cuba). Nevertheless, there has been an almost immediate opening in the country's gender policy, pushed forward by the president's daugther Mariela Castro Espín, who founded in 1990 the Centro de Estudios sobre la Sexualidad (CENESEX) and promotes since then legislative and cultural change for the Cuban LGBT community.

In 2007 I began to document the expression of the flexibilization that has been taking place in the LGBT community in the Western and Central provinces of Cuba. I carried out video recordings of scenes where there is public homosexual activity happening in the Cuban capital, like the Malecón, some parks, certain zones of the surrounding areas of Havana, the Havana carnival (2005 till 2012), the International Day Against Homophobia (Día mundial contra la homofobia that is celebrated since 2008 on the island), the gay beach “Mi Caíto” in Playas del Este or the famous Mejunje club in Santa Clara.

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Trailer

Pedro and the Mejunge

Carlos

Juan