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Alejandro Sainz Alfonso

Alejandro Sainz Alfonso began his art studies after finishing pre-university courses at the Institute of Design in Havana in 1985. Two years years after graduating as a graphic designer, he enrolled in the Academy of Plastic Arts, San Alejandro. He graduated in 1991 with specializations in painting and drawing. For the last twenty-five years he’s been with the Taller Experimental de Grafica in Havana for engravings– lithographs, serigraphy, xylographs. He’s currently working on a series of xylographs called “20,000 leguas of journeys and lies.” He’s also working on other artistic endeavors related to painting, photography, and sculpture in addition to participating in events and personal and collective expositions in various parts of the world. During the last few years, he’s made inroads into the area of book art as an artistic manifestation of his work.

UA Commemorates 10th Anniversary of Alabama-Cuba Initiative with Research Trip

Some 35 University of Alabama faculty researchers are traveling to Cuba Feb. 5-11 for a series of academic meetings with their Cuban counterparts. The meetings mark the 10th anniversary of the Alabama-Cuba Initiative, which has brought UA and Cuban educators together to establish opportunities for graduate student research, teaching and formal course work for undergraduate students at Cuban academic institutions and has also allowed Cuban educators to come to UA for collaborative work.

The week-long series of meetings will take place at three Cuban educational institutions: the University of Havana, the Institute of Art (Instituto Superior de Artes), and the University of San Gerónimo. UA faculty members will be presenting proposals for future educational and research collaborations, and discussing project descriptions with Cuban educators working in comparable areas.

A milestone in the trip will take place at the University of San Gerónimo where Dean Olin will present a new book, La Habana Vieja/Old Havana, to Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler, Cuba’s historian for Havana and director of the Old Havana restoration project. Authored by Chip Cooper, a faculty member in UA’s department of art and art history, and Néstor Martí, a photographer of the Havana Historian’s Office, La Habana Vieja, published by The University of Alabama Press this month, presents 200 pages of photographs of the people and places of Havana taken by both Cooper and Martí. The two photographers have been collaborating since 2008 to produce a body of photographs that capture the spirit of the city and its people during this pivotal time in Cuba’s development.

Cooper and Martí will discuss this research collaboration as part of the week-long events. Other  researchers and scholars will explore topics in history, chemistry, law, modern languages, poetry, art, music, theatre, literature, writing, anthropology, geography, biological sciences, cultural studies, engineering, human nutrition, and others.

Jennifer- American influence in Cuba

American products influence Cuban culture more than I expected. Music from Lil Wayne, Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga and many others are played in dance clubs and shared with zip drives. Movies like Public Enemies, Sherlock Holmes and Ice Age are shown in Havana’s movie theaters. And the logos of Playboy, Ed Hardy, Abercrombie, and Converse are worn by Havana’s youth. With few American travelers in Cuba, it is surprising to see these American trends in the streets of Havana.