After the scandal regarding Jay-Z and Beyonce visiting Cuba for their fifth wedding anniversary, it was impressive the letter that Phil Lord, Hollywood director of movies such as 21 Jump Street, published in the Huffington Post. It brought up an awareness of the current situation in the tropical island while reprimanding the two celebrities’ actions. While Jay-Z and Beyonce hide under the protection of the Treasury Department and their excuse that they did have permission, it still does not answer why they would want to visit a Communist country which has unresolved issues with the United States. No matter their reason, it makes audiences all around the world perplexed as to why other musicians such as Pitbull are pardoning the visit.
No matter the social status, people should be aware of the current situation. They should understand that, as Lord mentioned in his letter, any money which is regulated into the country goes back out as a way to control its’ citizens. Those that do visit should strictly go for personal matters, such as visitations with family. Other wise, money and time which is spent on the island is used by the government as propaganda to enforce their regime.
Other than visiting the country for humanitarian work or visits with family on the island, those who have spent time on the tropical island to relax and explore should own up to an apology. In Cuba thousands of “criminals” are thrown into already crowded prisons, prisons which are filled with those fighting for their freedom and for their country which they can barely recognize. While celebrities such as Jay-Z, Beyonce and Pitbull condone a few hours spent on Playa Giron or Varadero they should stand by their lyrics of strength and standing up for what’s right instead of bluff. With an apology, they can recognize their own faults and move on. They can show that even multi-million dollar rappers make mistakes. They can teach the world a lesson in humility.
After more than 20 million Cubans left behind their home in the eras of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, it would be a shame for humanity to disregard the struggles of a country still shattered under an unjust government.
Although in the art community there is an understanding that whatever work produced, whether it be a screenplay or song, leads to the progress of the world in some way – those not in the clique of creative minds may view a sculpture or interpretative dance as nothing more than entertainment. However, when one man takes the step to make a portion of the ocean his stage, it not only expands who his audience is but also changes the world we live in. The revolutionary artwork that I found from artist Jason deCaires Taylor served up a perfect remedy. His human-like statues in a salt-tinged environment made me feel right at home. In the West Indies, specifically in Grenada, Taylor revealed his newest installation – Silent Evolution – little more than a year ago. There are hundreds of statues with mirror-like resemblances to humanity from an underwater community. From the photographs of a man on a bicycle to a teenager admiring a pot with coral, I realized that art could be discovered in unexpected ways. The part that most impressed this modern-day reformist was the fact that this ongoing, underwater museum positively affects the ocean’s health. Since 2007, Taylor’s yearly installments have acted as an artificial coral reef. If not already, in a few more years his grey statues will literally be crawling with color as they host homes to fish. Through his exhibit, which will last a lifetime, Taylor sends an innovative message to the world. In every sculpture he proves that art transforms the world intellectually and physically. By renovating the oceans he produces an expansion of oceanic life.
Prompt: In a poem, no more than one page long, describe a place you never thought of as being transformed into a work of art.