CUBA: Two Views

La Familia, Roberto Chile  El mar, Steven Daiber
Esta Rojo, Steven Daiber Palomero by Roberto Chile

Afrodescendientes/Afro Cuban Guanabacoa
Photographer Roberto Chile

El Calor del Sol
Steven Daiber and Red Trillium Press

November 13, 2012-April 13, 2013
Rosenberg Library, City College of San Francisco
(Campus is closed for winter break December 20, 2012-January 14, 2013)

These two exhibitions offer a chance to see Cuba from two very different perspectives, from both inside and from the outside. Here in the United States we don’t often get to learn about Cuba’s kaleidoscope of unique history, rich culture and powerful role in the history of the Americas. In 1960 the U.S. instituted a trade embargo against the socialist island nation, a blockade that is still in place, having just been re-insituted by a vote in the United Nations General Assembly. Cuba also maintains some travel restrictions although occasionally, musical groups (including Orquesta Aragon and Septeto Nacional Ignacio Piñeiro de Cuba recent visiors) and others are able to secure both Cuban and U.S. visas in order to perform here. The U.S. embargo limits travel to Cuba to for U.S. citizens to educational and religous purposes. The City College Travel Abroad program leads trips to Cuba during the winter break, click here to learn more.

For the exhibition Afrodescendientes/Afro-Cuban Guanabacoa , prominent Cuban photographer and documentarian Roberto Chile chose to capture life in the community of Guanabacoa in Havana. This collection of photographs was created for the UNESCO International Year for people of African Descent, 2011. In celebration of that year, Afrodescendientes, has been shown in Havana; Madrid, Spain; Buenos Aires, Argentina and in Washington DC.

Over his forty year career as a photographer, Chile has served as the staff photographer (1984-2006) for Fidel Castro, President and Minister of Cuba and has produced bodies of work—films and photography collections—on a range of subjects: Cuban dance, children’s theater, Afro-Cuban religion and Alberto Korda, the photographer who created the famous image of Che Guevara that is seen around the world. Chile has been described as a chronicler of his time, in the words of the Historian of the City of Havana, Eusebio Leal Spengler:

“Roberto Chile has forged a unique image of Cuba, always dignified and luminous. His images make up a universe of faith and spirituality, visible to those who, like him, are able to love. “

El Calor del Sol
features artists books from Steven Daiber’s Red Trillium Press Based in Massachusetts, Red Trillium publishes artists books in collaboration with Cuban artists. Daiber travels back and forth between the United States and Cuba and has worked in eight different silkscreen workshops in the city of Havana. Subjects for his books include daily life in Havana, the Cuban Revolution, U.S./Cuba relations, Baseball, gay and transgender life in Havana and daily food rationing—as Daiber travels in Cuba, his experiences, and those of the people he meets and the artists he collaborates with are all possible subjects for his handmade books. Daiber says:

“My work facilitates dialogue between Cuban and foreign artists. Red Trillium Press books create real, metaphorical objects: palaces of the memory in which each element underscores a meaning. The collaborative books co-created with Cuban artists tell their stories of the lived reality in Cuba during the 21st century.”

Daiber’s recent trips to Havana in 2010 and 2011 included teaching book arts and book collaborations with Cuban artists. Poder (Power), created in 2010, is the first book in a series of three books based on themes Cuban artists feel describe their social and political relationships: power, privacy and waiting. These ideas developed during a number of meetings and conversations in 2007 with the artists. The second book, Privacidad (Privacy), was created in 2011 and the third book, Esperando (Waiting), is planned for  2013.

Almedrones y Roberto Chile Roberto Chile at CCSF CCSF Student, Cuba Exhibition cuba red trill muro cuba red trill will Afrodescendientes w Lori CCSF Student studies Red Trillium Red Trillium at CCSF CCSF Librarian views Afrodescendientes

Cuba Two Views Assignment and Book List

Check back as we add more links!

Cosponsored by the City College Study Abroad Program and the Latin American and Latino/a Studies Department.


  1. Beautiful. Thank you, very much.

    Es un honor para mi, que mis imágenes se exhiban en el City College de San Francisco. Visité esa bella ciudad el año pasado y la verdad es que me encantó. Allí tengo grandes amigos, con quienes he compartido importantes momentos de mi vida. Llegue a los directivos, profesores, estudiantes y trabajadores de esa escuela, un saludo sincero y un abrazo fraterno.

    Les deseo salud, buena suerte y éxitos.

    Hasta pronto.

    Roberto Chile

  2. Now in English:
    It is very moving to see these images of brother and friend, Roberto Chile, without question, a consecrated in body, mind and soul in the image and see or think others may enjoy this beautiful show me satisfaction to know very closely as commitment, wakefulness time and gave Roberto Chile in the creation of each of these works.
    Thank you, thank you very much.

  3. Es muy emotivo ver estas imágenes del hermano y amigo, Roberto Chile, sin dudas un consagrado en cuerpo, mente y alma a la imagen y ver ó pensar que otros pueden disfrutar esta hermosa muestra me llena de satisfacción por conocer bien de cerca cuanto empeño, tiempo y desvelo entregó Roberto Chile en la creación de cada una de estas obras.

  4. I think its pretty cool that some one put this Afro Cuban display up . When i first meet someone they are almost always shocked to find out that I’m Cuban, because i look black and have black hair. For many years i’ve had to explain my background and educate people on the fact that a great majority of Cubans have African descent. So in all i just wanted to thank whoever thought of this idea.

  5. Thank you Kate and everyone else who worked on these exhibitions. It looks wonderful! I am very honored. Even looks like you have a stand in for me posing next to one of the exhibit cases!

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