Sunday, February 26, 2012

Postcard week 8 Cuba

I remember the Bay of Pigs although I was really to young and naive to understand what it was all about. Didn't know about a Catholic program called Pedro Pan (Peter Pan) to bring Cuban children to the US for safekeeping while political turmoil was going on over Battista and Castro until researching about Ana who was 13 at the time. She and her sister arrived here during another turmoil, Civil Rights Movement.

I was studying Ana's work in Art School and her murder affected me a lot. Violent relationships were happening around me. A couple of students at the time were murdered by their boyfriends. The feminist movement in the art world was having an influence on women. But to have such a violent death and an acquittal of her husband is a travesty and so unjust. But it happens everyday, somewhere.
The images on my card are from These are 3 links on my research of Ana:

Jaruco Caves work found here:

A poem written by Ana (c1981)
Found here: Woman's Art Journal © 1999 Woman's Art Inc.

Pain of Cuba
body I am
my orphanhood I live

In Cuba when you die
the earth that covers us

But here,
covered by the earth whose prisoner I am
I feel death palpitating underneath
the earth.

And so,
As my whole body is filled with want of Cuba
I go on to make my work upon the earth,
to go on is victory.

Poet Lourdes Gil
Havana, Cuba 1951

To Ana Mendieta, Who was Pushed Over a Window by an Artist’s Hand

Because I knew you as a child
I never believed you had become a woman
a woman
who carved sculptures in the mud
ominous sculptures
drawn in blood.
I saw your rage long before exile
before the orphanage or Carl
before your art transformed the topography of Iowa
before the Grand Prix
before Rome.
I watched you from your cousin’s porch
in Havana (the city
was not yet in ruins)
as you returned home late after detention

set apart from us
anger a suspended halo over your mouth and eyes.
Anger a formidable presence mushrooming
on the desolate walls of your Sullivan Street apartment
after I found you in New York.
Following, trailing you back to Cuba
transformed into graceful Arawak
the legends you inscribed on the Jaruco caves.
Because I saw your rage
I found it difficult to laugh
when you told stories
of the orphaned years in Iowa
and ripped the past apart into a joke.
I saw the violence you carried ‘round your neck
like Sisyphus his stone.
And though I was shocked beyond belief
the morning I heard about the brutal crash
—your body falling
scorching flash of indigo and red
in the pitch dark
your naked, interrupted body breaking up
into a clump
a thunder noise over the deli’s roof
your last sculpture spread on humid tar—
I cannot say
the end
was entirely unpredictable.

I saw the violence.


Kimber said...

Lovely card and tribute. Thanks for sharing the poetry.

Jen said...

Wow, knew nothing of this. The poetry is so moving and your postcard. Lost for words.
Jen x

Gina said...

What an incredibly moving tribute. I had not heard of this lady, but reading your words and theirs brought a shiver of sadness through my soul. Beautiful! XXX

Janet said...

Thank you for bringing this tragic event to our attention. Lovely poetry, very moving.

Janet xx

abby j said...

Powerful posting and well done. Enjoying your blog...and your Postcard entries...


Katie said...

Thank you so much for sharing a bit of history and a lovely woman. It's been so interesting doing this project- so many things to learn. Wonderful card.

gottahavemoxie said...

Wow, never heard of that program. This is such a wonderful way to learn new things. Thank you for sharing the poems.

Sandra Hoogland said...

And so she will never die, because her name is remembered for ever!
Sad, sad story... Lovely tribute! ♥

Adam Thomas said...

Nice blog.. Keep up the good work !

Holidays to Cuba

Ginny Stiles said...

Wow are really into this! I am so impressed.

TheFairyyellowbugQueen said...

This post nails me to the spot. I will come back to read this again. And then again. Powerful. *smiles but with sadness too* Norma

Elizabeth said...

Love how you uncover such gems as you research this project.