The first time I heard of the project Raices Comunes I was in a farm in Portugal with little wi-fi capabilities. A friend of mine asked me on skype if I would have liked to join a “project in Cuba” and make a documentary about it. I didn’t think about it that much and I accepted it. For the rest of the time that I spent in farms the “project in Cuba” never crossed my mind except when thinking about how difficult would be to organize a project in Cuba.
A month later the project was real.
So what is the project Raices Comunes?
Raices Comunes is a project developed by APS Tra i Binari an Italian theater company that lately evolved into an association that promotes arts and theater outside of their official settings.
The goal of this project is to realize a cross-media reportage on Cuban theater but, as the title of the project says, it is also a research for “common roots” and differences between two countries. A group constituted by actors, photographers, a director a sound engineer and a video-maker will travel Cuba for a month meeting local artists to create with them theater workshops where to investigate differences in society produced by different histories.
The outcomes of the project will be a documentary, a soundscape, a photo exposition and a written diary.
Cuba it’s a country that had a very isolated history since the 1959 revolution, it always appeared to me as an underdeveloped country which could only choose between having a communist dictatorship or becoming a floating resort.
I know from friends whose family lived under the communist dictatorship in east Europe that it was not a good time for the majority of the population, I remember once a friend from Bulgaria talking about communism in the same way in Italy we talk about fascism, the similarity of the words was striking.
Therefore I was surprised when I found that the island was the second country for access to education, has a developed public health free for every citizen and food and houses are given by the government. Once I got into this project I discovered trough the word of people living and working in Cuba that theater and art are supported and considered equal to other public services.
It made me think about Cuba in a different way, could it be that this island chose just a different way trough progress?
I believe that there is a strong connection between the social model and the way people think and express themselves, I want to see and film what really are the products of this different development on the stage and on the streets. Because I think there is always something to learn in the difference even when they though us to be afraid.