Resilient Cities

Havana: Art from a Disconnected Island

Cuba is a multi-layered, complex, culturally-rich island, known primarily for the 1953 revolution of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. The revolution, America’s subsequent trade embargo and the economic struggles that the island faced has had a notable impact on the kind of art that was created. Much of it was inspired by a sense of cohesion and unity, with Cuban artists promoting the belief that socialism would work. More recently, and in the context of renewed normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba, a younger generation of artists are creating works that focus on individual survival. But they feel marooned on their island, forced to navigate challenges like basic access to Internet, power outages and ongoing censorship. 

In this episode, we follow the following artists as they struggle to get their voices out and establish a connection with the rest of the world: Miguel coyula, a multi-skilled maverick filmmaker; Sheila San Martin, a choreographer who dances and teaches children; Isnay Rodriguez, AKA DJ Jigue, a DJ whose musical roots began in an extraordinary but under-resourced underground scene; and Lou Piensa, a Canadian nomadic hip-hop artist 

Available until
2018-07-03T00:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-11-26T23:00:00-08:00
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Beirut: Art As A New Narrative

Beirut is a battle-­scarred city that has survived military invasions and civil war. Currently it struggles with a Muslim and Christian divide, the influx of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and has Isis looming over their country’s northern border. Still, Beirut is considered the cultural hub of the Middle East. Reverberating with the sounds of musicians, performers and activists as well as hosting one of the best nightlife scenes in the world, Beirut is an enigma. 

Jerusalem: Artists Fighting for Their Own Truth

As one of the oldest cities in the world and of significance to followers of all three major religions, Jerusalem is constantly on edge. It is segregated into two distinct parts, East and West. In the streets, 18-­year-­old soldiers patrol the city with guns. Artists in both parts of the city are using art to find and fight for their own truth and bring about peace amid the regular eruptions of violence.

  • 2019-11-12T23:00:00-08:00
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Kiev: Art As Protest

In a city on the divide between Russia and Europe, the art of protest stands against war and corruption. Kiev has a government that ignores its citizens and responds to demonstrators with violent measures. Now, artists and activists are spearheading the fight to claim Ukrainian cultural identity. 

Athens: Art As Solace

Amid the chaos and confusion from Greece's financial meltdown, artists from all corners of Athens are gathering to protect Athenian culture through the power of their art. In this episode, four artists show how they are fighting to counteract the bleak outlook of their urban landscape: iNO, the city's only incognito graffiti artist; photographer Panagiotis Maidis; electro-pop group Kid Flicks formed by Nickos Dervisis; and film and television producer Theo Simantirakis. 

Lagos: Artists Provoking Debate

Lagos, the largest city in Africa and an economic powerhouse, is characterized by extreme social inequalities, frequent power cuts and a rapidly increasing population. In the rest of Nigeria, political upheavals, including the militant insurgency of Boko Haram and a drop in oil production in the country’s oil sector, are among some of the challenges facing the government of Mohammadu Buhari, elected in 2015. Lagos, and its exploding art scene, is where these realities are brought to the fore of people’s consciousness.

  • 2019-11-19T23:00:00-08:00
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Port-Au-Prince: Art As Rebirth

In Port-au-Prince; a radio host, a photographer, a Rabòday singer and a creole rapper showcase the emerging and subversive sounds and images of Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.

Havana: Art from a Disconnected Island

Cuba is a multi-layered, complex, culturally-rich island, known primarily for the 1953 revolution of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. The revolution, America’s subsequent trade embargo and the economic struggles that the island faced has had a notable impact on the kind of art that was created. Much of it was inspired by a sense of cohesion and unity, with Cuban artists promoting the belief that socialism would work. More recently, and in the context of renewed normalization of relations between the U.S.

  • 2019-11-26T23:00:00-08:00
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Medellin: Art As Remembrance

After two decades of violence and corruption under the reign of the largest cocaine drug cartel operation in history, Medellín, Colombia awakens to the sights, sounds and colors of an urban renaissance crafted by a group of creative entrepreneurs, artists and visionary city planners defying street wars.

Manila: Creating In Spite of Fear

Manila, a giant Asian metropolis with traffic-laden roads, towering skyscrapers and sprawling informal settlements, has become a dangerous place. Rodrigo Duterte was elected president of the Philippines in June 2016, vowing to crack down on the drug trade. Since then, extrajudicial killings have led to the deaths of over 3500 people by vigilantes; his approach is reminiscent of the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled from 1965 to 1986.

  • 2019-12-03T23:00:00-08:00
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Moscow: Expression in the Face of Suppression

Moscow is a city where dissidents live in fear. After emerging from a decade of post-­Soviet economic and political turmoil, the country, under Putin’s rule, is a place where authorities have tightened control over the media and stifled the opposition. The government maintains a narrative that insists on the country’s unique power in contrast with the rest of Europe. In 2011, thousands of protestors gathered in Moscow to protest electoral fraud – it was the biggest show of protest since the fall of the USSR.

  • 2019-12-07T13:00:00-08:00
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Mexico City: Artists Breaking Apathy

Mexico City, a massive, sprawling metropolis and home to over 21 million inhabitants, is the capital of a country that has become notorious for drug-­‐related violence. The ‘drug war’ as it is widely known, officially launched in 2006, had initially the support of communities who were tired of gun battles, execution-­style murders and police corruption.

  • 2019-12-10T23:00:00-08:00
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