This summer Gilles Peterson went out to Cuba to continue WeTransfer’s Creative Class series, exploring how creatives are shaped by their relationship with technology.
Here’s an in-depth post on the This Works blog, where you can watch all 5 films, as well as an interview with Gilles, discussing his experiences and discoveries on this trip to Havana. You can watch all the films at thecreativeclass.tv/
For season three, WeTransfer creative director and world-renowned DJ Gilles Peterson went to Cuba to sit down with five people helping to define the creative culture of this fascinating and rapidly-changing country. In Cuba restricted technological developments and limited access to the internet have led to innovations and unique approaches to combining creativity and technology. Peterson says: “Regular trips to Cuba over the last 10 years or so have given me a remarkable insight into the rapid changes going on there. Overseeing this latest Creative Class series has allowed us here at WeTransfer to showcase artists who are shaping the future landscape in the world of music, art and design. They are all pioneering creative champions who have risen against all odds to make their mark.”
The five practitioners featured in this season’s Creative Class are:
As a musician, DJ, producer and TV host, few people have their finger on Cuba’s musical pulse better than Edgaro Gonzales. His hip hop group Doble Filo is one of the country’s most popular acts and he has played a key role in bringing together Cuban sounds and international influences to create cutting-edge new music.
Ildolidia Ramos is the lead dancer of Raíces Profundas, one of Cuba’s most respected dance troupes. Founded in 1975, the group is renowned for its ability to take viewers on a journey through Cuba’s musical heritage, and its dancers are famous for their intense dedication. Few though possess the exuberant energy that Ildolidia brings to her performances.
Conceptual artist Wilfredo Prieto is one of the most intriguing creatives working in Cuba today. Trained as a painter, his work now sits somewhere between installation, sculpture and performance. He reimagines found objects and ordinary scenarios to make satirical points and his work has been exhibited around the world.
Creative entrepreneur Susu Salim must be one of the best-connected people in Havana. She spent several years working for Vistar, Cuba’s trailblazing culture magazine which defied the national ban on indie publications. Susu now organises club nights and manages local musicians among her various other roles.
Idania del Río
Idania del Rio opened Cuba’s first independent design shop Clandestina, and as such is one of the leading voices in Havana’s contemporary visual scene. Her business sells products predominantly designed by young women and she has helped build a creative community that is redefining what Cuban design means to the wider world.
Damian Bradfield, President WeTransfer U.S.A., says: “In this series of The Creative Class we explore possibly the most creative city on earth, the city that has had to work the hardest to get exposure, recognition and visibility. Gilles takes us on a journey through Havana, introducing us to a new creative class; an almost creative ‘cast-away’ class.”