Waiting for spring: @YoaniSanchez at International Journalism Festival

by Vincenzo Marino – translated by Roberta Aiello

Using the Internet to talk about a world so far away from our own, and not just geographically, is itself a remarkable innovation. More so if the story takes a literary and civil tack, half-way between the chronicle of an alien country in the eyes of our society and the poetry of a diary that reproduces the daily life of Cuba.

Regarded by Time Magazine as one of the hundred most influential people in the world in 2008, and by the Spanish edition of People as one of the top 25 most influential women, Yoani Sanchez is the most famous interpreter of this story. Her tale is new in terms of transmission and diffusion, but at the same time ancient, like the structure of the systematically oppressive regime which sounds like a relic, and the panoramic views of Havana offered in her story.

Her testimony lives through her online activities. Her blog “provides the world a unique window into the realities of daily life in Cuba” in the words of Barack Obama. “Generación Y” is a website taken up and re-launched by leading international newspapers (in Italy, by La Stampa) which allows her to achieve personal affirmation and awards, but also the attention of the rest of the world on a critical reality still difficult to decipher. A paradox in an era of widespread dissemination of information and culture.

“I live in a utopia that is not mine”, Sanchez affirms in the famous post ‘Utopia imposed‘. “My grandparents crossed themselves and my parents gave their best years for it. I took it on my shoulders without the power to shake it off”.

A life hanging by a thread, threatened by the oppression of a country which creaks with the holiday postcards of tourist agencies and caused her to be jailed twice already, without the possibility to surrender to a self-imposed exile that would have not allowed her to return. Immigration reform, that was approved in January, allowed her to get her first visa to travel and talk about “all the rights we are denied on the island”. She started once again to live and talk through narrative and dissent, the weapons she has chosen for herself and the people she wants to fight for.

A form of civil and artistic resistance which finds voice in the book “Waiting for Spring” by Gordiano Lupi, published by Edizioni Anordest, that is due out in April 2013, and becomes direct testimony for the first time in Italy at the International Journalism Festival, on Friday 26 April 2013 at 18:00 in the Sala dei Notari, in a meeting with the editor of La Stampa Mario Calabresi.

The event is organized in collaboration with La Stampa.