La Casa Tomada mirArte and the Bridges of Friendship

By Myrna Padrón Dickson and Siria González

Leer en Español

Translated by: Cindy García, Maxine Nwigwe, Devon Severson, and Geoffroy Delaforcade

La Casa Tomada mirArte is a socio-cultural community initiative, led by an Afro-Cuban lesbian-parent couple. It is located in Coco Solo, Marianao, one of the peripheral neighborhoods of Havana.

Historically, there have been a multiplicity of spaces for the socialization of the Cuban population. Social spaces for LGBTTIQ people, their allies, or people distinguished for being non-heteronormative lack visibility and acceptance. When there are “different” clubs, discos, bars, restaurants, they are mostly run and/or frequented by gay people assigned white men at birth. This means that in this analysis, the racial and class aspects are intersectional since almost always when talking about LGBTTIQ subjects, there is a risk of erasing the axis of differences. Within these differences, lesbians are often missing, even moreso black lesbians, as well as Trans, Transvestite, Intersex people.

In the past, generations of lesbians were more likely to engage in family care than to socialize in public spaces. However generations of lesbians, even from distant eras, experienced a positive awakening of consciousness that transgressed assumed heteronormative norms.

The doors of La Casa have been opened for this occasion on the last Monday of each month since September 2018. The event mobilizes the body, music, performance, healthy eating, and other practices as tools through which to amplify narrative discourses, with the goal of generating processes of reflection and healthy recreation that allow for the re-interpretation of reality and promote collective consciousness.

On the last Monday of each month since September 2018, the doors of La Casa are opened for this offer. The event uses the body, music, performance, healthy eating, and other practices. They are tools to amplify narrative discourses in order to generate processes of reflection and healthy recreation that allow for the re-interpretation of reality and promote collective consciousness.

Our challenge is not only to be on the media/performance scene; this scene interests us to the extent that we have the possibility of formulating a distinctive proposal for expression that modifies the prevailing traditional logic. Our challenge is to displace paradigms, understood as concepts, values, perceptions, and practices, that no longer provide answers.

We are free when we speak, sing, and dance the will of our bodies, without loyalty to the usurpers of knowledge. We have the freedom of access to knowledge to build bridges of friendship, more than understandings, because many times there is nothing to understand. Just to make the moment a refuge for Love.

Alongside the hosts of La Fiesta Doble Negras, Myrna and Siria are artists such as: #JanetLaFaraona, who created the first female Rap group in Cuba in May 1996. Today she is pursuing her career as a solo singer. Through social networks, Janet heard of the activities and visions of La Casa Tomada mirArte. She has taken an interest in participating and being part of the collective.

In the case of #AfibolaSifulona, ​​a poet from Spokin Word, the relationship with Casa Tomada mirArte dates back a decade. Afibola Sifulona is active alongside Myrna within the Cuban AfroLGBTTIQmás movement, along with the Transformista Argelia Fellove, one of the few women who does transformismo in Cuba. She delights us with the male character #Alberto el Salsero. Rappers Luz de Cuba and Krudas Kubensi also came to us through activism.

#Yudith Aguirre, Keyboardist-Vocalist-Doctor in Pedagogical Sciences with a Masters in Music, Education and Society, was recruited by Siria to be part of the musical accompaniment of the popular musical gathering known as la peña. She accepted, and her presence has been systematic and unconditional. Furthermore, Yudith is the bridge that leads us to work as collaborators with the music faculty of the Enrique José Varona Pedagogical University, and they with us.

Artists from other projects are exhibited in #FiestaDobleNegras. The participation of the Cuban Hip-hop movement is notorious. We were pleased to present on one occasion the novel #AnaEyEnEy. 

When Siria performs, inimitable in her expression and interpretation of various genres, she leaves us euphoric, ready to attend the activity again and again.

Many kisses, free hugs.

Myrna and Syria.

Sept. 2020