Guantánamo, Cuba. April 2022.
Death poem | La flecha negra
La flecha negra
En las celdas de los presos musulmanes
de la base naval hay una flecha
puntando hacia La Meca.

La Base está en los 19 °, 54′, 42. 95 ” Norte
y en los 75 °, 09 ‘, 11. 75 ” Oeste.
La Meca en los 21 °, 25 ‘, 01 ” Norte
y en los 309, 40 ; 00 “‘ Este.

12 793 kilómetros por encima del Atlántico,
el Sahara y el Mar Rojo
tienen que recorrer sus oraciones:
mínima impertinencia geográfica
que no les va a impedir el Paraíso.

¿Y si los americanos
no hubieran puesto las flechas

(José Ramón Sánchez Leyva)
O prison darkness
O prison darkness, pitch your tent.
We love the darkness.

For after the dark hours of the night,
Pride’s dawn will rise.

Let the world, with all its bliss, fade away,
So long as we find favor with God.

A boy may despair in the face of a problema,
But we know God has a design.

Even though the bands tighten and seem unbreakable,
they will shatter.

Those who persist will attain their goal;
Those who keep knocking shall gain entry.

O crisis, intensify!
The morning is about to break forth.

Abdulaziz, who wishes not to reveal his last name, had just graduated from university in his native Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, when U.S. forces launched their attack on Afghanistan. He traveled to the región to find his brother and bring him home safely. Soon after Abdulaziz found him, both men were picked up by Northern Alliance forces. After being tortured in an Afghan prison, he was turned over to the U.S. military in early 2002 and eventually sent to Guantánamo along with his brother. Both were classified as enemy combatants. His brother was subsequently released, but Abdulaziz remains in detention.

Yo soy el tiempo
“I can wait longer than you, because I am Time”. So writes Salvador González Escalona, the recently deceased Cuban artist, in one of his murals in Callejón de Hamel, in Havana. And it is from here that the new project Occupy w.c. starts, whose performance is based on the idea that the Time Escalona talks about is Poetry.
Poetry now takes on a new form thanks to two other Cuban artists, Alexander Beatón Galano, Pedro Gutiérrez Torres and José Ramón Sánchez Leyva, who have accepted our invitation to talk about their creative world. Poetry that talks about Cuba. Today.
Beatón Galano (1968) develops a discourse focused on identity in the contemporary world. In his works, identity is nothing more than the context of inevitable relationships, a concept-space in perpetual analysis and redefinition.
José Ramón Sánchez (1972) is a rational and at the same time instinctive poet. His poetics is guided by the sound of words that carry with them an intrinsic meaning. He writes historical, social, and political verse.
Both born in Guantanamo, they confront the political and social reality of a place strongly affected by the presence of the American military base. But their thought becomes space for broader reflections, for ideas that, despite the contradictions of everyday life, look to the future with a strong awareness of the need to constantly redefine the paradigms of communication and coexistence. (Marcello Simeone)

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