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Havana/L.A./Havana symposium (March 13, 2015)02:06:08

After Marcelyn Gow's introductions, Ramiro Diaz-Granados begins by noting President Obama's call last December to normalize relations between Cuba and the U.S. By focusing on a single site in Havana--the U.S. embassy building and the adjoining plaza--Diaz-Granados evokes 56 years of architectural, urban and political conflicts. Belmont Freeman argues that even if the U.S. embargo ended, the city of Havana would not change rapidly. Universo Garcia Lorenzo describes the obstacles facing architects attempting to work in Cuba, and presents work by architecture students of the Instituto Superior Politécnico José Antonio Echeverría (CUJAE). Holly Block describes Wild Noise an exhibition of Cuban and U.S. artists created by the Bronx Museum of the Arts and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana (MNBA). Claudio Vekstein describes two projects: a playground with housing in a historic part of Havana, and a memorial plaza in Rosario, Argentina for Ernesto ""Che"" Guevara. Florencia Pita and Dwayne Oyler join the presenters to discuss preserving the past while building the future, the political, economic and material obstacles to practicing architecture in Cuba, how the revolution's legacy of architectural stagnation is both negative and positive.

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