British Ambassador praises British Culture Week in Havana as it draws to a close

Posted: 14-Oct-15 10:17

This year's annual celebration of British Culture Week in Havana recently came to a close after days packed with cultural activities and special events linking Cuba and the UK in more ways than one. From football to music and the arts, Havana's week-long celebrations of all things British definitely went out with a bang this year.

British Ambassador praises British Culture Week in Havana as it draws to a close

From 7th to 11th October 2015 the Cuban capital donned Union Jack colours to celebrate the island’s cultural and historical connections with the UK. The week’s British calendar in Havana was packed with a series of events to honour the influence of British culture in Cuba, to further raise awareness about all things British and to strengthen the links between these two nations.

Things kicked off with daily cinema screenings dedicated to sports where locals could watch British sports films like Shooting for Socrates, Out of the Ashes, Class of 92 and sports documentaries like Next Goal Wins and Fast Girls.

Dominic Miller participated in the festivities

On the musical side of things even Sting’s guitarist, Dominic Miller participated in the festivities and arrived in Havana to offer a one-off special concert at Fabrica de Arte Cubano as part of British Culture Week. At the very same spot two other special events were held to mark British celebrations. One was a music and fashion show and later on the same day a tribute to British scientist Tim Berners – Lee on 9th October and to wrap things up a music and dance show on 10th October.

One-off special concert at Fabrica de Arte Cubano as part of British Culture Week

British culture was also celebrated in the performing arts with a theatrical production paying tribute to the life of Freddie Mercury, the famous leading singer and composer of one of Britain’s most successful rock bands, Queen. The play was staged at Havana’s Teatro Trianon from 9 – 11th October.

Tim Cole and Mick Jagger

Speaking about the impact of British Culture Week in this year’s edition, British Ambassador to Cuba, Tim Cole was eager to show his delight of how things went:

"I’m still smiling. We’ve just come to the end of ten very successful days of British culture in Havana; ten days of British music, history, theatre, science, film and dance. There were events throughout the city, at all times of day and night and for a range of audiences, including kids."

Excusing the incredibly talented British singer, Adele, for not being able to make it to Cuba on this occasion Mr Cole proceeded to list the highlights of the week:

"We explored the breadth and depth of British culture with a jazz band playing The Beatles, actors performing Shakespeare, Sarah Kane and Alice in Wonderland, Elizabethan music played on a lute, historians talking about Darwin and Churchill and actors walking around Old Havana dressed as Sherlock Holmes and Robin Hood. Adele couldn’t make it (her invitation is still open for next year); instead Robertico Carcasses and Interactivo played Led Zeppelin and Amy Winehouse."

Cole also added that on the British side of things they made efforts to show their support of the growing Cuban private sectors and “secret” parties were held in private restaurants across Havana. He also added that the British Embassy in Cuba participated in different events and worked hard to help museums, bookshops and the Castillo de Real Fuerza for the hosting of special activities.

He concluded by saying:

"The big lesson I take away from the week is this. Despite our differences, despite the fact that Cuba and the UK have different political and economic systems, despite the miles of ocean that lie between our two countries, there is a lot more that unites us than divides us. That may sound like empty rhetoric and a cliché. But I think we’ve seen a lot of evidence in the past ten days that it’s true. Long may it last."

Hear, hear to that we say!


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