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25 Years

Film Screening “Dialog with My Grandmother/Dialogo con mi Abuela

Wed, 09/14/2016 - 5:00pm
Event Location: 
1210 Heller Hall

Gloria Rolando has an extensive body of work on the African experience in Cuba. In Dialog With My Grandmother, the filmmaker enters in a rich conversation with her grandmother who talks about Cuba, many years before the Cuban Revolution of 1959. Enriched with music and archival footage, Dialog With My Grandmother is one of those films that transport the viewer to a time when race and class relations in Cuba were marked by severe racial discrimination, open racism and violence against African descendants. 

Dialog with My Grandmother/Dialogo con mi abuela (40 min - subtitled)​
The film originated as a conversation with her grandmother in 1993. Gloria says about the film: 

My grandmother, like many African descendants in Cuba, had her name from the old plantation masters: Abreu. Her testimony represents a small part of this vast army of "people without a history". For that past so full of pain, for the present and the future of the Cuban population descendants of slaves; for these 130 years of the abolition of slavery in Cuba in the year 2016. For these reasons and many others, I made this work of 40 minutes' duration where the dialog can also give voice to those of us who disagree with the representations made of the black population in Cuba and elsewhere. The colonial stereotypes that fill the eyes of tourists. The vulgar, cheap and disrespectful crafts that ignore the true history and social contributions of black men and women. They are obviously ignorant of the true images that with passion, respect, and tenderness are shown in "Dialog with my grandmother."


I hope that this work can contribute a small piece to the mobilization of consciousness. That it will help one think and give more value to the small and humble spaces of everyday life; to dialog with members of our families beyond their religious beliefs, professions, political ideas, material benefits, the places where they are. In the end, only this deep dialogue, real, contradictory, sincere, full of love and tears can help us feel a little happier as human beings.

AfroCubaWeb has a page devoted to the film and contains a great deal of information.

Gloria will also be discussing the work she is doing on her latest project about the Oblate Sisters, who were involved at one point in the education of her grandmother. It's described on AfroCubaWeb as follows:

The Oblate Sisters of Providence, a Catholic order of  nuns, many of them afrodescendants, had an important impact in Cuba and educated numerous AfroCuban women from 1900 to 1961.