Feature: Havana art biennial kicks off with COVID-19 protocols in place

2021-11-13 06:05:42 GMT2021-11-13 14:05:42(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

by Yosley Carrero

HAVANA, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- The 14th Havana Biennial of Fine Art, the largest visual arts event on the island, kicked off Friday with COVID-19 protocols still in place.

Featuring works by 300 artists from all continents, this year's art fair is held offline and online, ahead of celebrations of the 502nd anniversary of the city's founding on Nov. 16.

Curator Yanet Oviedo told Xinhua that cultural activities, particularly those related to visual arts, are part of the island's reopening plan after the COVID-19 lockdown.

"We have long waited for this moment. The art biennial will bring entertainment to thousands of people after several months of confinement due to the sanitary emergency," she said.

On the first day of the event, organizers opened an exhibition titled "Roads not leading to Rome" by 11 artists. Cuban artist Glenda Salazar, whose works were among the exhibits, said she wants to "raise awareness about environmental protection through symbolism of endemic plants."

The whole city has been adorned with colourful banners that read "Future and Contemporaneity" as masked art lovers take up galleries.

The Havana biennial, which will run for six months until April 30 next year, also has special events, conferences, performances and art installations on agenda.

Norma Rodriguez, president of Cuba's National Council of Visual Arts, said that the biennial is paying particular attention to works by artists living outside Havana.

"Local art matters now more than ever," she said. "Our artists portray a wide diversity of topics in regards to some of the biggest problems the world is facing today."

"I have always supported and will continue to support the Havana Art biennial, which very much contributes to reinforcing the Cuban culture and national identity," said Cuban artist Nestor Villalobos. Enditem