Tricontinental ‘66 And Other Acts of Liberation is a multi-disciplinary instigation produced by HotHouse with the support of the Rebuild Foundation, Chicago Filmmakers and O.S.P.A.A.A.L.
The intent of this project is to create a provocation examining acts of liberation from imperialism/s and colonialism/s through multiple avenues of creative expression both contemporary and from the revolutionary era of the 1960’s and ’70’s.
The historical artifacts come from a time when many of the world’s non-aligned movements came together to challenge empire, here and notably in the 1966 Tricontinental Conference in Havana, Cuba. The meeting in Havana and the speech there by Amilcar Cabral inspired Cuba’s subsequent military involvement in S.W. Africa and ultimately led to the defeat of the apartheid regime in Pretoria and the liberation of Angola and Namibia. The significance of these events have been popularized in people’s cultural expression and are here reemphasized and contextualized anew through film, music, discussions and the graphic arts.
The project features a rare exhibition of posters produced by and with the cooperation of Cuba’s O.S.P.A.A.A.L. (Organización de Solidaridad con los Pueblos de Asia, África y América Latina). The display of the original posters and original copies of the Tricontinental Journals (which were contributed to the exhibit from O.S.P.A.A.A.L.) continues to give amplification and inspiration to aspirations of third world liberation movements and similar campaigns within in the US.
HotHouse is undertaking this project as part of its long commitment to creating projects that link social change and artistic expression. As a leading non-profit arts presenter in the US, (now celebrating its 31st year), HotHouse has long worked to explore the terrain where culture challenges reactionary assumptions within capitalism. HotHouse is one of the primary organizers for international cultural exchange and has long championed the work of women, the African-American avant-garde and “inner city” youth expression. Recent endeavors in Cuba have inspired a more pointed comparison of societal organizations, especially with regard to arts and music education. In 2016, HotHouse was a recipient of a grant from the US State Department and created the Chicago-Guantanamo Blues Exchange as a means to comment on the preponderant incarceration of people of color in the US, and the “war on terror. This project seeks to reclaim Guantanamo as a seat of African culture and creates an alternative perception of the site in the minds of people in the US who have only associated it as a notorious detention center and military base. The Triontintenal ‘66 And Other Acts of Liberation is an endeavor that builds on this iterative work. This instigation challenges the de facto disregard of “communism’ in the wholesale way as it is dismissed in the US- out of hand. It folds in multiple contributions and reflections on liberation and empire without assuming a prima facie embrace of the US (imperial) point of view. The project seeks to resurrect and reexamine recent history while intending to provoke questions about “art as propaganda”, art in service of higher aspirations, art as a collaborative process, art inspired by social change, etc.