Ruido (The tower of noise)
Ruido (The tower of noise) is a project I began in 2006, with the collaboration of nine young Cuban rap artists. In 2010 I continued the project with another 32 rappers from the Havana underground scene, to express their opinions on life in present day Cuba through songs performed and filmed in domestic surroundings. The resulting discourse is always critical and expresses the thoughts of a broad section of Cuban youth, whose voices convey their unhappiness, frustration, powerlessness and lack of prospects in Cuba today. The images are shown on dozens of screens piled up in a tower, each showing the performance of one rapper.
My work involves individuals, whether professional or not. Above all they are urban poets, story tellers, poets without a voice, frustrated singers, among others, whom I mainly film on video. On these videos I not only record the situations to be filmed but also set them up in collaboration with the invited artists. I deal directly with the reality of these artists, I intervene in the preparation and creation of the settings for their portraits in their own environment and I film their genuine performances. The artists invited to take part in my videos turn their opinions on contemporary social and political life into artistic products, through their performances.
My main aim is to raise the profile of the critical stances and poetic demands expressed in the work of certain social and artistic groups, to give them a physical presence in the visual arts. As a result of working with artists in other media, these groups of young people begin to see their own potential more clearly.
I am interested in humanist ideas and in the thinking and discourse of these artists: equality of opportunity for all; personal and cultural diversity; freedom of ideas and beliefs; condemnation of discrimination over racial, ethnic or cultural differences; rejection of physical, racial, sexual, religious, moral or psychological violence. I am interested in their impact on contemporary society, their importance as groups or as movements within society.
In Havana, for example, some of the rappers who are most outspoken in their protests, such as Raudel and Los Aldeanos (The Villagers), have found fame and popularity, becoming counter-cultural heroes precisely because of the disapproval provoked by their solidly critical lyrics. This deserved popularity is not only among the young fans who illegally copy and circulate their records, but also among the general Cuban population of all generations.