Sunday, November 29, 2009

Klus Nomi One the Best Vocalist


Klaus Nomi
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Klaus Nomi

Background information
Birth name Klaus Sperber
Born January 24, 1944
Immenstadt, Germany
Died August 6, 1983 (aged 39)
New York, NY, U.S.
Genres New Wave, synth pop, experimental, cabaret, disco[1]
Occupations Vocalist, actor, pastry chef
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1977-1983
Labels RCA Records, Heliocentric
Associated acts David Bowie, Joey Arias, Man Parrish, Kristian Hoffman
Klaus Sperber (January 24, 1944 - August 6, 1983), better known as Klaus Nomi, was a German countertenor noted for his wide vocal range and an unusual, otherworldly stage persona.
Nomi was known for his bizarrely theatrical live performances, heavy make-up, unusual costumes, and a highly stylized signature hairdo which flaunted a receding hairline. His songs were equally unusual, ranging from synthesizer-laden interpretations of classical music opera to covers of 1960s pop standards like Chubby Checker's "The Twist" and Lou Christie's "Lightnin' Strikes". He is perhaps best remembered by the general public as being one of David Bowie's backing singers during a 1979 performance on Saturday Night Live.[1]
Nomi was one of the first celebrities to contract AIDS. He died in 1983 at the age of 39 as a result of complications from the disease.

Klaus Nomi was born Klaus Sperber in Immenstadt, Bavaria, Germany on January 24, 1944. In his youth in the 1960s, he worked as an usher at the Deutsche Oper in West Berlin where he would sing on stage in front of the fire curtain after the shows for the other ushers and maintenance crew. Around that time he also sang operatic arias at a Berlin gay discothèque called Kleist Casino.
Nomi moved from Germany to New York City in 1972.[2][3] He began his involvement with the art scene based in the East Village. According to a documentary film made by Andrew Horn, Nomi took singing lessons and supported himself working as a pastry chef.
Nomi appeared in a satirical camp production of Richard Wagner's Das Rheingold with Charles Ludlam's Ridiculous Theater Company in 1972 as the Rheinmaiden and the Wood Bird.[4][5]
Nomi first came to the attention of New York City's art scene in 1978 with his performance in "New Wave Vaudeville", a four-night event MC'd by artist David McDermott. Dressed in skin-tight spacesuit with clear plastic cape, Klaus sang the aria Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix ("My heart opens to your voice") from Camille Saint-Saëns' 1877 opera Samson et Dalila. The performance ended with a chaotic crash of strobe lights, smoke bombs, and loud electronic sound effects as Nomi backed away into the smoke. Joey Arias recalls, "I still get goose pimples when I think about it... It was like he was from a different planet and his parents were calling him home. When the smoke cleared, he was gone." The reaction was so overwhelmingly positive that he was invited to perform at clubs all over New York City.[6]
It was at the New Wave Vaudeville show that Klaus Nomi met songwriter for the Mumps Kristian Hoffman, who was a performer and an MC in the second incarnation of New Wave Vaudeville, and a close friend of Susan Hannaford and Tom Scully (who produced the show) and Ann Magnuson (who directed it).
Anya Phillips, then manager of James Chance in the Contortions, suggested that Klaus and Kristian form a band. Thus Hoffman became Klaus' de facto musical director, assembling a band which included Page Wood from another New Wave vaudeville act, Come On, and Joe Katz, who was concurrently in The Student Teachers, the Accidents, and The Mumps.
Hoffman helped Klaus choose his pop covers, including the Lou Christie song "Lightning Strikes", and wrote several of the pop songs with which Klaus is most closely identified: "The Nomi Song", "Total Eclipse", "After The Fall", and "Simple Man", which was the title song of Klaus Nomi's second RCA France LP.
This configuration of the Klaus Nomi band performed at clubs all over Manhattan, including several performances at Max's Kansas City, Danceteria and Hurrah.
Disagreements with the management Klaus ultimately engaged led to a dissolution of this particular band, and Klaus continued on without them.
In the late 1970s while performing at Club 57, The Mudd Club, The Pyramid Club, etc. Nomi assembled a group of up-and-coming models, singers, artists, and musicians to perform live with him, which at times included Joey Arias, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, John Sex and Kenny Scharf.[6] He also appeared on Manhattan Cable's TV Party.

Nomi and David Bowie performing "The Man Who Sold the World", on Saturday Night Live
David Bowie heard about Nomi's performances in New York, and soon after met him and Joey Arias at the Mudd Club. Bowie hired them as performers and back-up singers for his appearance on Saturday Night Live which aired on December 15, 1979. The band performed "TVC 15", "The Man Who Sold the World", and "Boys Keep Swinging". During the performance of "TVC 15", Nomi and Arias dragged around a large prop pink poodle with a television screen in its mouth. Nomi was so impressed with the plastic quasi-tuxedo suit that Bowie wore during "The Man Who Sold the World" that he commissioned one to be made for himself. Nomi can be seen wearing the suit on the cover of his self-titled album, as well as during a number of his music videos. Nomi wore his variant of the outfit, in monochromatic black-and-white with spandex and makeup to match, up until the last few months of his life, when he, now mostly focusing on operatic pieces and increasingly ill with AIDS-related illnesses (including Kaposi's sarcoma), wore a Baroque era operatic outfit complete with full collar.
Nomi also collaborated with producer Man Parrish. He appeared on Parrish's album Hip Hop Bee Bop as backing vocalist on the track "Six Simple Synthesizers."
He played a supporting role as a Nazi official in Anders Grafstrom's 1980 underground film The Long Island Four.[7]
The 1981 rock documentary film, Urgh! A Music War features Nomi's live performance of Total Eclipse.[6]
666 Fifth Avenue was listed as the contact address in the liner notes of Nomi's 1981 self-titled record.
[edit]Illness and death
Nomi died early morning on August 6, 1983 at the Sloan Kettering Hospital Center in New York City, one of the first celebrities to die of an illness complicated by AIDS.[8] His ashes were scattered over New York City.[9]
[edit]Influence and cultural significance

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Agente 202 Kendall Myers

Walter Myer
Code GOD
Peter Herrera Agente

Judge Reggie B. Walton ha hecho sentencia al.....
Espia castrista Wallter Myer sentenciado a prision
por vida habra pagado el alto precio de imitar al
Agente James Bond. Sin embargo Gwendolyn Steingraber
agente 123 E-630
ha escapado de tan rigurosa sentencia. La esposa
de Walter Myer tendra que hospedarse seis años
en la carcel que elijan para ella. Cuando salga en
lilbertad, si no hablo mas de la cuenta partira hacia
Cuba. El gobierno de Cuba enviara de inmediato

Informe del Departamento de Justicia
Estados Unidos del pasado June 5 2009

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
Former State Department Official and Wife Arrested for Serving as Illegal Agents of Cuba for Nearly 30 Years
Couple Allegedly Conspired to Provide Classified Information to Cuban Government
A former State Department official and his wife have been arrested on charges of serving as illegal agents of the Cuban government for nearly 30 years and conspiring to provide classified U.S. information to the Cuban government.

The arrests were announced today by David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Channing D. Phillips, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; Joseph Persichini, Jr., Assistant Director for the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Ambassador Eric J. Boswell, Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security.

An indictment and criminal complaint unsealed today in the District of Columbia charge Walter Kendall Myers, 72, a.k.a. "Agent 202," and his wife, Gwendolyn Steingraber Myers, 71, a.k.a. "Agent 123," and "Agent E-634," with conspiracy to act as illegal agents of the Cuban government and to communicate classified information to the Cuban government. Each of the defendants is also charged with acting as an illegal agent of the Cuban government and with wire fraud.

The Myers, both residents of Washington, D.C., were arrested yesterday afternoon by FBI agents. They made their initial appearances today in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, while serving as an illegal agent of a foreign government carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and conspiracy carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

"The clandestine activity alleged in the charging documents, which spanned nearly three decades, is incredibly serious and should serve as a warning to any others in the U.S. government who would betray America's trust by serving as illegal agents of a foreign government. We remain vigilant in protecting our nation's secrets and in bringing to justice those who compromise them," said David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security. "These arrests are the culmination of an outstanding counterespionage effort by many agents, analysts and prosecutors who deserve special thanks for their extraordinary work."

"This case demonstrates the care we must take in protecting our nation’s valuable secrets, and shows the dedication and perseverance of the men and women investigating this crime who never tired in finding those now charged with betraying our country," said Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips.

"Intelligence services from around the globe continue to steal what information they can from the United States," said Joseph Persichini, Jr., Assistant Director for the FBI's Washington Field Office. "Vigilance must be matched with patience to successfully bring their agents to trial. I would particularly like to thank the men and women in my office who worked on this case and who work on other espionage investigations. They work without accolades; silently protecting the safety and security of the United States and its citizens."

Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Eric J. Boswell stated, "The U.S. Department of State is jointly investigating this matter with the FBI, and will continue to aggressively pursue any and all breaches of national security. The Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security works closely with its law enforcement colleagues in the FBI and other agencies to uncover and prosecute any breath of security within its ranks. Any compromise of classified information is a serious threat to the security of our nation, and the State Department will aggressively investigate any such activity to the fullest extent possible."

U.S. Government Employment:

According to an affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Kendall Myers began his work at the State Department in 1977, initially serving as a contract instructor at the Department’s Foreign Service Institute (FSI) in Arlington, Va. After living briefly in South Dakota, he returned to Washington, D.C., and resumed employment as an instructor with FSI. From 1988 to 1999, in addition to his FSI duties, he performed periodic work for the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR).

Kendall Myers later began working full-time at the INR and, from July 2001 until his retirement in October 2007, he was a senior analyst for Europe for INR, where he specialized in intelligence analysis on European matters and had daily access to classified information through computer databases and otherwise. He received a Top Secret security clearance in 1985 and, in 1999, his clearance was upgraded to Top Secret / SCI.

Gwendolyn Myers moved to Washington, D.C., in 1980 and married Kendall Myers in May 1982. She later obtained employment with a local bank as an administrative analyst and later as a special assistant. Gwendolyn Myers was never granted a security clearance by the U.S. government.


According to the affidavit, Kendall Myers traveled to Cuba in December 1978 after receiving an invitation from an official who served at the Cuban Mission to the United States in New York City. His guide while in Cuba was an official with Cuba’s Foreign Service Institute. This trip provided the Cuban Intelligence Service (CuIS) with the opportunity to assess or develop Myers as a Cuban agent, according to the affidavit.

Approximately six months after the trip, the Myers were visited in South Dakota by the official from the Cuban Mission in New York and, according to the affidavit, Kendall and Gwendolyn Myers agreed to serve as clandestine agents of the Cuban government. Afterwards, the CuIS directed Kendall Myers to pursue a job at either the State Department or the CIA. Kendall Myers, accompanied by his wife, then returned to Washington, D.C., where he resumed contract work at the State Department and later obtained a State Department position that required a Top Secret security clearance.

According to the affidavit, during this time frame, the CuIS often communicated with its clandestine agents in the United States by broadcasting encrypted radio messages from Cuba on shortwave radio frequencies. Clandestine agents in the United States monitoring the frequency on shortwave radio could decode the messages using a decryption program provided by the CuIS. Such methods were employed by defendants previously convicted of espionage on behalf of Cuba. According to the affidavit, the Myers have an operable shortwave radio in their apartment and they told an FBI source that they have used it to receive messages from the CuIS.

Undercover Operation:

According to the affidavit, in April 2009, the FBI launched an undercover operation to convince the couple that they had been contacted by a Cuban intelligence officer and to ascertain the scope of their activities for the CuIS. On April 15, 2009, an undercover FBI source posing as a Cuban intelligence officer approached Kendall Myers in Washington, D.C., stating that he had been sent to contact Myers by a named CuIS official in order to obtain information. The FBI source also congratulated Kendall Myers on his birthday and offered him a cigar. Myers agreed to meet the source later that day at a nearby hotel and volunteered to bring his wife along to the meeting.

During the meeting later that day, the couple agreed to meet the source again and to provide information on U.S. government personnel with responsibility for Latin America. According to the affidavit, the couple also made a series of statements about their past activities on behalf of the CuIS, including acknowledging having received coded messages from the CuIS via shortwave radio, meeting CuIS officials in Mexico, and being alert to surveillance. "We have been very cautious, careful with our moves and, uh, trying to be alert to any surveillance," Kendall Myers allegedly told the FBI source.

In subsequent meetings with the FBI source, the Myers allegedly agreed to provide information on the April 17-19, 2009 Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as to use specified code words, signals and encryption programs to transmit information via email during future interactions with the source. They also asked the source to "send special greetings…and hugs" to certain CuIS officials.

In addition, the couple allegedly made further statements to the source about their past activities for the CuIS. According to the affidavit, the defendants discussed how they were first recruited by the CuIS and how codes had been used for each of them in messages, including "123" for Gwendolyn Myers and "202" for Kendall Myers. The Myers also stated that they had traveled to meet Cuban agents in Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Jamaica, New York City and other locations.

The Myers also discussed how they had passed information to CuIS agents, with both agreeing that the most secure way was "hand-to-hand." According to the affidavit, Gwendolyn Myers said her favorite way of passing information to CuIS agents involved the changing of shopping carts in a grocery store because it was "easy enough to do."

According to the affidavit, Kendall Myers told the source that he typically removed information from the State Department by memory or by taking notes, although he did occasionally take some documents home. "I was always pretty careful. I, I didn’t usually take documents out," he said. According to the affidavit, he also acknowledged delivering information to the CuIS that was classified beyond the "Secret" level. He further stated that he had received "lots of medals" from the Cuban government and that he and his wife had met and spent an evening with Fidel Castro in 1995.

Additional Evidence:

According to the affidavit, the FBI collects high frequency messages broadcast by the CuIS to its agents and has identified messages that it has determined were broadcast to a handler of Kendall and Gwendolyn Myers. Furthermore, the FBI has confirmed trips by the couple to Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Jamaica that correspond to statements made by the defendants. In addition, the FBI has identified emails to the couple in 2008 and 2009 from a suspected representative of the CuIS in Mexico who was allegedly requesting that the couple travel to Mexico.

The affidavit further indicates that an analysis of Kendall Myers’ classified State Department work computer hard drive revealed that, from August 22, 2006, until his retirement on Oct. 31, 2007, he viewed more than 200 sensitive or classified intelligence reports concerning the subject of Cuba, while employed as an INR senior analyst for Europe. Of these reports concerning Cuba, the majority was classified and marked Secret or Top Secret, the affidavit alleges. An FBI review of Kendall Myers’ State Department security files further revealed numerous false statements by him to conceal the couple’s clandestine activities on behalf of the CuIS, the affidavit further alleges.

According to the affidavit, neither Kendall Myers nor Gwendolyn Myers ever provided notification to the Attorney General that either of them was acting as an agent of a foreign government, as required by law.

Finally, the affidavit alleges that Kendall Myers engaged in a scheme to defraud the State Department and the United States by means of false pretenses and caused the U.S. government to lose property, specifically money in the form of salary payments. By not disclosing his clandestine activity on behalf of the CuIS and by making false statements to the State Department about his status, Kendall Myers allegedly defrauded the State Department whenever he received his government salary. Gwendolyn Myers is also criminally liable for this alleged wire fraud scheme.

This investigation was conducted jointly by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Harvey, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and Senior Trial Attorney Clifford I. Rones, from the Counterespionage Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

The public is reminded that criminal complaints and indictments contain mere allegations and are not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Glamour originally described a magical-occult spell cast on somebody to make them believe that something or somebody was attractive. In the late 19th century terminology a non magical item used to help create a more attractive appearance gradually became 'a glamour'. Today, glamour usually denotes the impression of attraction or fascination that a particularly luxurious or elegant appearance creates, an impression which is better than the reality. Typically, a person, event, location, technology, or product such as a piece of clothing can be glamorous or add glamour.
Virginia Postrel says that for glamour to be successful nearly always requires sprezzatura - an appearance of effortlessness, and to appear distant - transcending the everyday, to be slightly mysterious and somewhat idealised, but not to the extent it is no longer possible to identify with the person. Glamorous things are neither opaque, hiding all, nor transparent showing everything, but translucent, favourably showing things.
The early Hollywood star system in particular specialised in Hollywood glamour where they systematically glamorised their actors and actresses.
Glamour can be confused with a style, which is adherence to a particular school of fashion, or intrinsic beauty; whereas glamour can be external and deliberate.

" Nada mas que una mujer "


by Andre Soares | Oct 12, 2008 | ShareThis | 1 Comment

The 1934 melodrama Nada más que una mujer / Nothing More Than a Woman, a unique sample of the many Spanish-language versions of Hollywood films made for export in the 1930s, will be screened at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 19, at UCLA’s Billy Wilder Theater in Westwood. Nothing More Than a Woman will be followed by the 1933 romantic comedy No dejes la puerta abierta / Don’t Leave the Door Open, starring Raul Roulien of Flying Down to Rio. Both restored, 35mm prints will be screened with English subtitles.
"Once sound films had become firmly established in the late ’20s," wrote film historian Robert Dickson in the program for UCLA’s 1998 film preservation festival, "and before the advent of acceptable dubbing and subtitling, all of the major studios as well as several independent producers, fearful of losing their international audiences, began to make films in various foreign languages. The Fox studio elected to produce its foreign language releases almost exclusively in Spanish and, in the beginning, simply remade some of its English-language films, although it would later produce certain films only in Spanish. Between 1930 and 1935, Fox made [forty] features and [five] shorts in Spanish. Of these, only [around a quarter] appear to have survived." (The corrections in brackets are from Bob Dickson; Bob — who was a great help while I was working on the Ramon Novarro bio Beyond Paradise — also explains that when Fox merged with 20th Century in 1935 its production of Spanish-language films was abandoned.)
Now, why is Nothing More Than a Woman unique among the surviving films?
Well, the chief reason is that it stars legendary Argentinean stage performer Berta Singerman (above, left, with Luana Alcañiz), whom some have compared to Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich, in one of her rare film appearances. Singerman, in fact, made only two other pictures: the silent La Vendedora de Harrod’s / The Harrod’s Salesgirl in 1921 — it’s unclear if that’s a feature or a short — and the 1942 four-episode anthology drama Ceniza al viento / Ashes in the Wind, in which she can be seen in one of the stories.
Born in the small Russian town of Mozir in 1901 (some sources erroneously claim she was born in Minsk, in today’s Belarus), Singerman was a major star on the Argentinean stage since the 1920s. Her father founded Buenos Aires’ first Yiddish-language theater, while Singerman — despite several vicious anti-Semitic attacks (Google translation) in the Argentinean press and adverse publicity because of her anti-Franco stance — was particularly renowned for her poetry recitations, including works by Pablo Neruda, Federico García Lorca, and Juan Ramón Jiménez. She toured for decades throughout Latin America, and also appeared onstage in the United States, Europe, and Israel.
Singerman uses her "poetry interpretation" talent to good advantage in the steamy Nothing More Than a Woman, which is set in an off-the-beaten-path island of The Philippines. The Spanish-language version of Fox’s B-melo Pursued (1934), Nothing More Than a Woman tells the story of Mona Estrada (Singerman), an entertainer who asks for — and, gasp!, gets — a job at the local tropical dive reciting poetry to customers. Whereas Dickson has noted that the plot "does not encourage close scrutiny" — Mona also has a love affair with a temporarily blinded plantation owner — Kenneth Turan wrote in the Los Angeles Times back in 1998 that "when Singerman launches into one of her rhythmic, racy, mesmerizing vocal presentations, you’re afraid to so much as blink in case you miss a word."
Indeed, even though the Nothing More Than a Woman plot and production values aren’t quite A-class stuff — except for Rudolph Maté’s moody cinematography — Singerman more than holds her own as the mysterious woman with both a shady past and a talent to make words of poetry come to vibrant life. (The title of an IMDb contributor’s review reads "An Unexpected, Vital Must-See Performance.")
At the time, the New York Times reviewer was impressed by the "diseuse" Singerman’s performance, writing "her presentation of ‘Pregones en [sic] Buenos Aires’ is so realistic that the spectator only has to close his eyes to imagine himself listening to the varied and strangely alluring calls in the streets of the Argentine metropolis. Señorita Singerman’s acting is excellent, with due allowance for the sentimentalities of the case, and she properly may be described as ‘may [sic] simpática.’"
Also in the Nothing More Than a Woman cast: Alfredo del Diestro, Juan Torena, the Spanish actress Luana Alcañiz (who starred in numerous Spanish-language versions of Hollywood films), Lucio Villegas, and Carmen Rodríguez. Harry Lachman directed from Lester Cole (one of the future Hollywood Ten) and Stuart Anthony’s Pursued screenplay, which in turn was taken from Larry Evans‘ story "The Painted Lady." Raymond Van Sickle and John Reinhardt wrote the Nothing More Than a Woman adaptation, while Miguel de Zárraga and Spanish satirist Enrique Jardiel Poncela (uncredited) penned the Spanish-language dialogue. (According to Bob Dickson, Jardiel Poncela’s name was removed from the credits so audiences wouldn’t think they were about to watch a comedy.)
Rosemary Lane and Victor Jory starred in the original Pursued, while Peggy Shannon and Spencer Tracy headed the cast of the hard-to-watch The Painted Woman (1932), taken from the same story. George O’Brien and Dorothy Mackaill starred in the 1925 silent version.
Berta Singerman, I should add, died in her sleep of respiratory failure in Buenos Aires in 1998, at the age of 97. Singerman, as quoted in the daily El Clarín (Google translation), once said, "I brought poetry back to the people. I took poetry out of the books, which were only accessible to a select minority." And finally, in the words of Spanish classical music composer Manuel de Falla: "While we, composers, look for music for our words, Berta extracts music from words."
In the light musical comedy Don’t Leave the Door Open, the Spanish-language version of Pleasure Cruise, Mexican Rosita Moreno (right, who starred in eighteen other Spanish-language productions) and Brazilian Raul Roulien (whose Spanish is remarkably fluent) star as a recently married couple whose troubles begin quite early in the marriage: Wife Moreno believes that husband Roulien is having an affair, so she decides to have a fling of her own while on a cruise from New York to Havana. Though hardly a masterpiece — the New York Times called it a "fairly entertaining comedy of matrimonial complications," Don’t Leave the Door Open is worth a look as a curiosity piece. As a plus, both Moreno and Argentinean acting legend Mona Maris are quite watchable.
Directed by Lewis Seiler and with Spanish dialogue by José López Rubio and Paul Perez (Miguel de Zárraga was "dialogue director"), Don’t Leave the Door Open also features George J. Lewis, Romualdo Tirado, Rosita Granada, and Ralph Navarro. Carlos Villarías, the star of the Spanish-language Dracula, has a small role as the ship’s purser. Genevieve Tobin, Roland Young, and Ralph Forbes starred in the original Pleasure Cruise, which Guy Bolton adapted from a play by Austen Allen.
Restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive in the late 1990s, the preservation funds and grants for Nothing More Than a Woman and Don’t Leave the Door Open came from the American Film Institute, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Robert Dickson. Bob, by the way, is the co-author (with Juan B. Heinink) of the excellent Cita en Hollywood, a history of Spanish-language film productions in Hollywood during the 1930s.

Berta Singerman ... Mona Estrada
Alfredo del Diestro ... Julio Franchoni
Juan Torena ... David Landeen
Luana Alcañiz ... Gilda
Lucio Villegas ... Doctor Steiner
Carmen Rodríguez ... Madame Lascar
Julian Rivero ... Hansen
Frazer Acosta ... Ali
Juan Ola ... Native
James Dime ... Native

Berta Singerman, Asela Guitierrez Kann Carbajal y la Republica

Dias antes del Centenario de la Republica de Cuba
en mayo del 2002 mi amiga Asela Gutieerez Kann
junto al fotografo cubano Leovigildo Carbajal esta-
ban preparandose para la lectura que ambos iban
a dar en la Universidad del Sur de California.
La lectura de la Dra. Guitierrez Kann seria sobre
los logros de la educacion en la repuplica cubana.
Carvajal iba a mostrar un grupo de fotografias toma-
das por el a principios de los cincuenta.
La fertil memoria de Asela en ese tiempo era un teso-
ro , su memoria fotografica, junto a la rico lenguage
adquirido a base de educacion y lectura, me hizo pen-
sar que no tendria que trabajar mucho para hacer su
lectura. Que equivocada estaba , ella a pesar de la ex-
periencia que tenia por las multiples lecturas, discursos
que en el pasado habia dado, sentia que no estaba lo
suficiente preparada para encabezar semejante fecha.
Despues de varios dias , llego el dia esperado.
al Dra. Gutierrez Kann llego media hora antes del evento
coincidiendo con Carbajal. En la mano varios papeles
auxiliarian la lectura... junto a un folleto publicado en
Cuba en el 1948 . Mientras los introducia a la sala
Lucas 101 , le pedi el folleto el cual hojee en espera
de la llegada del publico. Las dos primeras hojas del
folleto era el calendario de eventos culturales que ocu-
rririan en La Habana en un mes. Cual fue mi sorpresa
al leer la variedad de buenisimos eventos que ocurrian
en La Habana del 1948...... reseña sobre la declama-
dora Bertha era maravillosa.....los cubanos amaban y
veneraban a la Singerman....en ese tiempo Cuba tenia
grandes declamadoras.....como Bertha habia ganado al
publico respuesta llego el pasado año
a traves de esta entrevista y una pelicula donde recitaba
la Sirgemann......Verla es una experiencia ultra sensorial....

Dias despues le pregunte a Asela , quien era la Singerman
.....grandiosa me vi actuar en Cuba

Friday, November 27, 2009

Mayme Agnes Clayton

A Triumph in a Garage

Avery Clayton and his mother's legacy: For decades, Mayme Clayton's collection of African American historical materials has had a garage, but no home. (Carlos Puma for The Washington Post

Avery Clayton and his mother's legacy: For decades, Mayme Clayton's collection of African American historical materials has had a garage, but no home. (Carlos Puma for The Washington Post)
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By William Booth
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Working entirely on her own, spending her librarian's salary and later her Social Security checks, Mayme Clayton amassed one of the finest collections of African American history in the world -- and stored it in her garage.

"I got to warn you, it's scary in here." This is Mayme's son, Avery Clayton, talking. He's jiggling his keys and opening the door. He reaches, finds the light switch, clicks. Inside? It is amazing .

"Originally," Avery apologizes, "there were tables and chairs, like a library, and you could sit down. But as you can see -- "

The roof sags, it may leak. There are books, floor to ceiling on shelves, but the passages between the stacks are blocked, with storage cabinets and film cases and cardboard boxes overflowing with photographs, journals, cartoons, correspondence, playbills, magazines, all dusted with a soft fungal dander. Mold.

The old garage appears held together by its peeling paint, out in an overgrown garden, behind a bungalow in a modest neighborhood. For a moment, before the eye begins to settle on the antique book spines in the gloomy light, the garage looks like a hoarder's hiding place, ready for a bulldozer and a trip to the city dump. "She was a hoarder, she was," Avery says. "But she was a hoarder with a vision."

That is the opinion of the experts, too. "She has everything," says Sue Hodson, curator of literary manuscripts at the prestigious Huntington Library east of Los Angeles. "This is probably the finest collection of African American literature, manuscripts, film and ephemera in private hands. It is just staggering. It is just superior in every way."

Hodson says that when the Mayme Clayton Collection is moved, secured, cleaned and catalogued, it will be among the top such archives in the United States, alongside the Vivian G. Harsh Collection at the Chicago Public Library and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library. (The Schomburg's director, Howard Dotson, described the Clayton holdings as "major and significant" in the Los Angeles Times.)

Avery, a retired art teacher who is now the force behind preserving his mother's legacy, says this is "only a fraction of the collection." The rest of the Claytonia is scattered in storage rooms around Los Angeles and in a climate-controlled vault at a film warehouse, which protects its vast cinema archive of more than 1,700 titles and represents the largest pre-1959 black film collection in the world, including rare silent reels.

Many people may forget that alongside white cinema was its black counterpart, "race movies" seen in some 600 African American theaters and starring the likes of Lena Horne, Duke Ellington, Katherine Dunham and Sammy Davis Jr. The most prolific director and producer was Oscar Micheaux, and Clayton found original prints of many of his films, including the silent movie "Body and Soul," which introduced Paul Robeson to the screen, and "The Exile," Micheaux's first talkie, made in 1931.

By the time she died in October, at age 83 of pancreatic cancer ("I've got a so-so body with a go-go mind," she said in her later years), Mayme Clayton amassed almost 30,000 rare, first-edition and out-of-print books. She was especially strong on the writers of the Harlem Renaissance, obtaining first editions and correspondence from Langston Hughes, Richard Wright and Zora Neale Hurston.
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Her trove includes the first book published in America by an author of African descent, Phillis Wheatley's "Poems on Various Subjects Religious and Moral," dated 1773, when she was a slave in Boston. Clayton has the only known copy signed by the author; she paid $600 for it in 1972, far more than she usually spent. Her collecting style was more bargain basement than Sotheby's auction. She'd prowl used bookstores, flea markets, estate sales. When old people died, she'd get into their attics.

In the garage, it still feels like a treasure hunt. There are the first issues of Ebony magazine (She picked up Vol. 1, No. 1, for a dime). A book about Denzel Washington next to "The Negro in Tennessee: 1865 to 1880." There's a "How to Box" manual by Joe Louis lying on a box of Jim Crow cartoons with the label "Negro Jokes" beneath the original movie poster for "Porgy and Bess."

"Oh, that's the one that hung at the premiere at the Orpheum Theatre in New York," says Avery. "Here, look at this."

His mother possessed a complete set of the first abolitionist journal in America, "The African Repository," dated 1830 to 1845. Among the manuscripts, there is an emphasis on paper that predates the Civil War: travel passes and bills of sale for slaves, and plantation inventories.

Avery describes one dated 1790. "They had 408 slaves in the inventory, along with the livestock, the chickens and cows and whatnot. For the slaves, it lists occupation. Field hand. House worker. Blacksmith. Distiller. You know the number one job? Breeding stock. Sixty-two women. You can read all about slavery, but when you hold a document like that in your hand, that is powerful."

In an interview with NPR, Mayme Clayton said, "Unless you know where you've been, you really don't know where you're going." She was born in Van Buren, Ark., and went to New York at age 21 to work as a model and a photographer's assistant, which is where she met her husband, a barber 16 years her senior who brought her back to Los Angeles, and the little house and its garage in the West Adams neighborhood where she lived at the time of her death. Clayton was known as competitive golfer, a quiet force in the community, an obsessive collector/stacker/finder/keeper who enjoyed e-mailing bawdy jokes. She went on to get her master's and doctoral degrees, spending most of her career as a librarian at the University of Southern California and UCLA; she began her collecting because the universities didn't seem that interested in African American artifacts.

Avery Clayton remembers his mother collecting right until the very end. "She bought a poster for a thousand dollars a few months before her transition and I still don't know where she got the money," he says. It was for a black cowboy movie, a popular subgenre, called "The Bronze Buckaroo."

Clayton has assembled a robust group of volunteers and local politicians for the task at hand. He needs to raise $7 million, but doesn't seem too worried. Culver City has already leased him a 24,000-square-foot former courthouse (for a dollar a year), and various universities will provide technical help to curate and organize the pieces. The Mayme Clayton Collection, Avery says, will be out of the garage in weeks. "Before the winter rains," he promises.

Julie Page, head of the preservation department at the University of California at San Diego library, is managing the move, under a federally funded program to save endangered collections. The garage makes her nervous. "I just can't wait to get it all out of there. That collection really needs to be in a secure, safe environment." It is time.

Mayme Agnes Clayton

Mayme Agnew Clayton
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mayme Agnew Clayton (1923-2006)

Mayme Agnew Clayton (August 4, 1923 – October 13, 2006)

was a librarian, and the Founder, President & Spiritual Leader of the Western States Black Research and Education Center (WSBREC), the largest privately held collection of African-American historical materials in the world. The collection represents the core holdings of the Mayme A. Clayton Library Museum and Cultural Center (MCL) located in Culver City, California.
Over the course of 45 years, Clayton single-handedly and with her own resources, collected more than 30,000 rare and out-of-print books. The collection is considered one of the most important for African-American materials. Her collecting grew from her work as a librarian, first at the University of Southern California and later at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she began to build an African-American collection. "Ms. Clayton, an avid golfer, traveled for her sport, trolling for rare finds wherever she went. The centerpiece of the collection that grew this way is a signed copy of Phillis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, from 1773. First published by an American of African descent, the book was acquired for $600 from a New York dealer in 1973. In 2002 it was appraised at $30,000," according to the New York Times.[1]

Mayme Agnew was born in Van Buren, Arkansas on August 4, 1923. Her father, Jerry Agnew, Sr. owned and operated a general store, the only black-owned business in Van Buren. Dr. Clayton’s mother, Mary Knight Agnew was a homemaker and renowned Southern cook, whose dinner gatherings drew friends from far and near. She had two siblings, Jerry, Jr. and Sarah Elizabeth (a well-known Southern California educator). Jerry and Mary consciously chose to expose their children to African Americans of accomplishment. During a 1936 visit to Arkansas by Mary MacLeod Bethune, Dr. Clayton’s parents drove a significant distance to be sure that their children could hear her speak. Dr. Bethune remained a lifelong inspiration for Dr. Clayton," according to the MCL website.[2]
She first attended Lincoln University of Missouri before transferring to University of California, Berkeley, where she received a B.A.
She moved to New York City in her 20s, met Andrew Lee Clayton, and they married in 1946, and then moved to California to a bungalow in West Adams, California.
She began her career at USC in 1952, until she became a law librarian for UCLA in 1957. In 1969 she helped establish the university’s African-American Studies Center Library, and began to buy out-of-print works by authors from the Harlem Renaissance.
She earned an MLS from Goddard College in Vermont, and was awarded a PhD in Humanities from Sierra University in 1985.

Avery Clayton ha muerto

Avery Clayton ha muerto
En la tarde del dia de hoy "Accion de Gracias"
el director e hijo de Mayme Clayton ha
fallecido. Los Angeles ha perdido a un soñador.
a un gran comunicador, cuya paciente diligencia
cristalizo la fundacion de Mayme Clayton Center.

Terrible noticia....

Conchita Bouza

Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum, Inc. id259
Mailing Address:
Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum
4130 Overland Avenue
Culver City, CA 90230
Phone: (310) 202-1647
Fax: (310) 202-5464


Contact: Mr. Avery Clayton, President
Web site:
Institution Type: Archive, Cultural Institution, Historical Society, Library, Museum, Non-profit Organization, Research Center/Institution, Study Center
Location of Institution: 4130 Overland Avenue, Culver City, CA 90230
Archive and Collections
Description: World's largest independently held collection of African American history and culture; consisting of rare and out-of-print books, documents, films, music, photographs and memorabilia.
Regions Covered: National in scope. Dating from the 18th Century to the present
Type of Materials: Architectural Drawings, Artist files, Artworks, Audio Recordings, Books, Cultural Artifacts, Materials & Objects, Databases, Diaries/Journals/Personal Papers, Digital Files, Ephemera, Films/Videos/Moving Images, Institutional Publications, Institutional Records, Large Format Papers, Manuscripts, Memorabilia, Microfiche/Microfilm, Newspaper Clippings, Newspapers, Official Records, Oral Histories, Photographs, Postcards, Press Clippings, Press Releases, Printed Works, Rare Books, Scripts, Serials, Slides, Statistical Data, Unprocessed/Unknown, Yearbooks
Time Periods: 1848-1899, 1900-1920, 1921-1949, 1950-1963, 1964-1980, 1981-Present, Pre-1848
Languages: English
Sectors of the Population Represented in the Collection: African Descent, Artistic Communities, At or Below Poverty Level, Business, Clubs/Service/Social Organizations, College/University Faculty, Community Service Organizations, Education, Employment, Highest Income, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Lower to Middle Income, Middle to Upper Income, Musicians, Politics/Government, Professional, Religious, Seniors, Sports, TV/Film/Radio, Youth
Year Round Access: No
OnSite Technology: No
Workspaces: Yes
Open to the Public: No
Public Hours: Not open to public until late 2009, early 2010
Reservations not required
Open for Research: Yes
Research Hours: Very limited access, until late 2009, early 2010
Reservations required
Access Procedures: By appointment, only
Catalogue System: Library of Congress
Repository/Depository: Yes
Loan To Others: Yes
Exhibited: Yes
Exhibition Frequency: Infrequently
Makes Purchases: Yes
Formalized Purchases: No
Outreach: Brochures/Flyers/Pamphlets, Class Visits, Community Service, Conferences/Conventions, Directories, Exhibitions, Festivals, Internet, Library Events, Mailings, Meetings, Newsletter, Newspapers, OCLC/RLIN, Online Catalog, Public Lectures & Programs, Publications, Radio/TV/Video, Reports, Student Orientations, Study Guides, Telephone, Word of Mouth

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Feliz dia de Guanajo a mis amigos

Rodado con equipo ex-propiado a Manolo Alonso

Mientras los americanos cocinan ( una vez al año) varias
comidas. Pavo , Pure de Boniato, Ensalada y comprar un
suculento dulce de calabaza agria, Aun yo no he cocinado
a pesar que tenemos tres auto - invitados a cenar. En
Madrid me pasaba lo invadia la nostalgia.
Cuando la nostalgia me invade, inmovilisa la accion....

Saludos a todos mis amigos en Cuba, Madrid , Florida
Chicago, New York etc etc

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Victimas del Comunismo Dr. Lee Edwards Mensaje

Dr. Lee Edwards

Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and/or Dr. Lee Edwards.
revolution in 1956.

Mensaje del director


The year 2009 has been an extraordinary year for the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation for which every one of us at the Foundation gives thanks.

The response to our online Global Museum on Communism, launched in June, has exceeded all our expectations. Some 60,000 people from over 100 countries have already visited the Museum, attracted by such imaginative exhibits as the Hall of Heroes and the Timeline of Communism.

We marked the 10th anniversary of our Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom awards by recognizing the life-long contributions to freedom of four distinguished individuals: professor and historian Richard Pipes, former Attorney General Edwin Meese III, Bishop Laszlo Tokes of Romania, and the late Congressman Jack Kemp.

Americans of every nationality visit daily the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington, D.C., honoring and remembering their relatives who suffered under communism. Foreign leaders too come to the Memorial to pay their respects and lay a wreath for the 100 million victims of communism.

All that we do is made possible by your support.

We have exciting plans for 2010, especially our National School Initiative, which will promote the online Global Museum on Communism to school teachers and to parents who are home schooling their children.

It's certainly been a tough year economically for all of us. The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation has cut its budget and carefully monitored the expenditure of every dollar we have received from you. I am proud that we still launched, and successfully, the online Global Museum on Communism!

We're now looking ahead to 2010. I invite you to consider an end-of-the-year gift to VOCMF. I honestly don't think you could make a better investment in the education of our children about the history, philosophy, and legacy of communism--the deadly ism that took the lives of tens of millions of innocent people.

All the best.

Lee Edwards, Ph.D.
Chairman, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOCMF)

Please help support
our efforts to remember
the 100 million victims
of communism.


From 1961 to1989, the Berlin Wall stood as a bleak monument to one of the most sinister political systems the world has ever known. This month, twenty years after its demise, people and governments across the planet paused to commemorate the anniversary with, by and large, solemn ceremonies. They not only memorialized the nearly 200 Berliners who died trying to escape the caged city, they also remembered those who perished under the tyranny of communist regimes.

The twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall remembers, as much as any single event, the reason for The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. It reminds us that our mission to memorialize the 100 million victims of communism and to educate this and future generations about communism's dark history, philosophy and legacy is as important today as it ever was.

Almost simultaneous with the anniversary, we were given a stunning reminder of the need to continue our educational mission. Last month, New York City's Empire State Building was intentionally washed in red and yellow spotlights to celebrate the coming to power of one of the five remaining communist nations, China.

Despite international protests, no acknowledgment was made by the building's management of the more than 60 million deaths caused by the Peoples Republic of China. No mention was made of the thousands of Chinese students and demonstrators who were killed or imprisoned during the Tiananmen Square demonstrations in 1989. It is some consolation that the red and yellow lighting that defaced New York's skyline was a forceful reminder there is still much educational work about communism to be done.

This is why we launched the Global Museum on Communism last June. On the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall we opened our national exhibit on East Germany. VOCMF will announce an important initiative to provide educators across the United States with lesson plans and educational materials in the near future.


VOCMF has been building awareness and educating the public about communism's brutal history since its charter was approved by Congress in 1993. Since June 16, 2009 we have been online with the Global Museum on Communism.

The museum is committed to educating young people in grade school, at the secondary level and college about communism because studies show that they are woefully ignorant about the "ism" that has claimed 100 million victims. VOCMF will be launching a new initiative in the near future to provide comprehensive lesson plans and educational materials to teachers across the United States. We are pleased to report that there are signs that some students are eager to get the facts about communism.

College students at Washington University in Saint Louis recently built a mock Soviet prison to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall and condemn communism. The display was a four-sided wooden structure with fake barbed wire on top and Soviet Communist propaganda posters pasted on its sides. Student actors, dressed as prisoners, stood inside the mock gulag, some of them with fake blood on their clothing. Others, dressed as Soviet soldiers, patrolled around the structure while Russian opera music was played. University officials demanded removal of the exhibit. Students were told the display had not been approved and was reportedly "unsafe." Exhibit organizers claimed the University's action was a simple case of censorship, but declined to appeal the decision.

More than 140 students gathered at Drexel University in Philadelphia on November 7, 2009 for the "Students for Liberty" Mid-Atlantic Conference. The group is a "student-driven forum of support for students and student organizations dedicated to liberty."

Event participants heard Dr. Alan Charles Kors, a member of VOCMF's National Advisory Council, speak about the brutal history of communism in formerly communist nations and the difficulty in overcoming its legacy.

VOCMF staff introduced students to the newly launched Global Museum on Communism. Most leapt at the opportunity to learn more about communism. Descendents of those who lived behind the Iron Curtain were particularly fascinated by the Museum's "Victims Registry," which allows those who suffered under communism to tell their personal stories and their family's story. According to VOCMF's Jaron Jansen, "there was clearly a hunger for the truth about communism." You can learn more about the Students for Liberty at


Edwin Meese III, Counsellor to President Ronald Reagan and the 75th Attorney General of the United States, and Dr. Richard Pipes, one of the world's leading authorities on Russia and communism, received the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom during separate Capitol Hill ceremonies this fall.

The Medal is awarded by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation to those who have distinguished themselves defending freedom and democracy and opposing communism and tyranny around the world.

Meese and Pipes were the 44th and 45th recipients of the medal in its ten year history. Previous recipients include such notable figures as: Lech Walesa; Vaclav Havel; Elena Bonner; Pope John Paul II; William F. Buckley, Jr.; Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson; Sen. Jesse Helms and Sen. Joseph Lieberman.

On June 16, 2009, Jack Kemp, former Congressman and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President George H. W. Bush, also received the medal posthumously. Romanian Bishop Laszlo Tokes, hero of the 1989 Romanian revolution, received the medal during the same Capitol Hill ceremony.


The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOCMF) is slated to receive an exceptionally valuable collection of 50 paintings by Gulag survivor and artist Nikolai Getman. The collection, described as "haunting" by many observers, portrays life and death inside the Soviet Union's notorious prison camp system.

The Jamestown Foundation recently presented the collection to the Heritage Foundation, which has agreed to turn it over to VOCMF when a permanent home has been acquired. VOCMF Chairman Lee Edwards states that the foundation hopes to find a permanent home for the exhibit and other artifacts in a "bricks-and-mortar" museum in Washington, DC.

The Gulag Collection presents an incomparable visual record of the Soviet penal camps that held more than 14 million political prisoners--many of whom died in captivity. The collection, estimated to be worth several hundred thousand dollars, is currently on display at the Heritage Foundation.

Getman, who died in August 2004 at age 86, began painting the scenes in secret when he was released from captivity in 1953 after eight years of forced labor in Siberia and Kolyma. His sole offense was to have been in the company of a fellow artist who had satirizes Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in a sketch on cigarette paper.

Getman devoted decades to putting his nightmarish yet strangely uplifting evocations of the Gulag on canvas. The paintings have been compared to Alexander Solzhenitsyn's classic memoir, "The Gulag Archipelago." According to Edwards, Getman left the images behind as a reminder of "communism's cruel inhumanity" that he hoped never would be forgotten.

The Heritage Foundation will keep Getman's work on public view weekdays through mid-December. The collection has been on view in Washington only once before--for five days in July 1997, in the Russell Senate Office Building.

For more information on Nikolai Getman, visit:


The Terror House Museum in Budapest, Hungary was opened on February 24, 2002. It is a remarkable memorial and museum about the Hungarian victims of terror under both the Nazi and Soviet regimes. Museum creators call it "a multi-sensory experience that takes visitors beyond the visual and seeks to emphasize the importance of remembering this time in Hungary's history."

Exhibits on each of the museum's four floors reveal what life was like for people under both the Nazis and Soviets by displaying many genuine artifacts in the authentic settings of their use. Visitors are confronted by the massive features of a full size Russian T-32 tank immediately upon entering the museum. The enormous cannon of the metal beast delivers a swift reminder of how it was that so many Hungarians were so brutally subjugated.

What is perhaps more startling to most visitors is the fact that the museum building itself was part of a larger complex of buildings where communist and Nazi state security personnel conducted some of their most gruesome work. The building served as the headquarters of the state police during both regimes. The basement contains cells where real torture took place--including a room in which occupants were denied oxygen and another room where prisoners were made to sit or stand in icy water for long periods.

More information can be found at:

"I fall, I fall, I lost this battle, I leave honorably. I love this country, I love these people, build prosperity for them. I leave without hatred for you. I wish you this, I wish you this." Those were the last words spoken by Milada Horakova before she was hanged by the communist government of Czechoslovakia in June 1950.

The date of her execution has since become a state holiday of the Czech Republic in 2004 as the "commemoration day of the victims of the communist regime." Milada Horakova is one of the innumerable heroes who struggled under and fought against communist tyranny to be featured in our "Focus on Heroes" newsletter section. She is also the first of many heroes to be featured in our online Global Museum on Communism. The purpose of "Focus on Heroes" is to affirm that the struggle of the brave people who fought communism was not in vain.

Horakova was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, on Christmas Day, 1901. She studied law and philosophy at the renowned Charles University, receiving her Ph.D. in 1926. During World War II, Horakova became a member of the anti-Nazi resistance. She was arrested by the Gestapo in August 1940 and sent to a concentration camp. Following the war's end, Horakova became a leading Member of Parliament and was elected head of the Women's National Council. Despite being urged to flee, Horakova remained in Czechoslovakia and worked against communist efforts there. Her outspoken anti-communist activities made her a primary target of the regime, which arrested her in September 1949 on charges of "conspiracy" against the state. Beaten repeatedly, Horakova refused to recant her views about the illegality of the communist government. She was sentenced to death after a widely publicized show trial.

On November 14, 2006, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation posthumously awarded Horakova the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom. Her daughter Jana Kanska accepted the award at a reception held at the Czech Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Activists Marcus Kolga, Markus Hess and the Eastern and Central European Council in Canada organized an event in Toronto to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9.

Organizers were moved by the large turnout in Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square. Liberal Critic for Foreign Affairs, Bob Rae; Conservative Cabinet Minister, Vic Toews; NDP Leader Jack Layton; and MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj celebrated the triumph of liberty over tyranny along with the over 500 people in attendance.

Bob Rae specifically spoke of the need to annually memorialize the suffering of the European victims of totalitarian communism and nazism in Canada. He proposed an annual national day of remembrance on August 23, called Black Ribbon Day--to coincide with the signing of the Nazi-Soviet pact in 1939 that carved up Europe between the two regimes. He urged members of all political parties to put aside partisanship and come together to ensure the passage of the resolution that he is proposing to The House of Commons.

The resolution would be the first of its kind outside of Europe. Similar resolutions have been passed by the European Parliament and OSCE. The Central and Eastern European Council of Canada has asked all Members of Parliament to support the Black Ribbon Day Resolution. The CEEC is an organization that represents the 3.4 million Canadians of Eastern and Central European heritage and includes the Czech, Estonian, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Slovak and Ukrainian communities.


1) WHEREAS the Government of Canada has actively advocated for and continues to support the principles enshrined by The United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights and The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 260 (III) A of 9 December 1948;

2) WHEREAS the extreme forms of totalitarian rule practiced by the Nazi and Communist dictatorships led to premeditated and vast crimes committed against millions of human beings and their basic and inalienable rights on a scale unseen before in history;

3) WHEREAS hundreds of thousands of human beings, fleeing the Nazi and Soviet Communist crimes, sought and found refuge in Canada;

4) WHEREAS the millions of Canadians of Eastern and Central European descent whose families have been directly affected by Nazi and/or Communist crimes have made unique and significant cultural, economic, social and other contributions to help build the Canada we know today;

5) WHEREAS 20 years after the fall of the totalitarian Communist regimes in Europe, knowledge among Canadians about the totalitarian regimes which terrorized their fellow citizens in Central and Eastern Europe for more than 40 years in the form of systematic and ruthless military, economic and political repression of the people by means of arbitrary executions, mass arrests, deportations, the suppression of free expression, private property and civil society and the destruction of cultural and moral identity and which deprived the vast majority of the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe of their basic human rights and dignity, separating them from the democratic world by means of the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall, is still alarmingly superficial and inadequate;

6) WHEREAS Canadians were instrumental in raising global awareness of crimes committed by European totalitarian Nazi and Communist regimes by establishing an annual "Black Ribbon Day" on August 23, to commemorate the legal partnership of these two regimes through the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and its secret protocols;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT every victim of any totalitarian regime has the same human dignity and deserves justice, remembrance and recognition by the people and government of Canada, in efforts to ensure that such crimes and events are never again repeated;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the people and Government of Canada unequivocally condemn the crimes against humanity committed by totalitarian Nazi and Communist regimes and offer the victims of these crimes and their family members sympathy, understanding and recognition for their suffering;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Government of Canada establish an annual Canadian Day of Remembrance for the victims of Nazi and Soviet Communist crimes on August 23, called "Black Ribbon Day," to coincide with the anniversary of the signing of the infamous pact between the Nazi and Soviet Communist regimes.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the Mexican horror film, see House of Terror (film).

The Terror House
February 24
2 0 0 2

The Terror House museum was opened on February 24 in 2002 and serves as a monument to the memory of those held captive, tortured and killed in the building of the museum. The goal of the museum is to show people that the fight for liberation was not in vain and that the war against the two cruellest systems (communism and nazism) of the 20th century ended with victory and independence.

The Terror House has exhibitions in the basement, on ground floor, on the first and on the second floor. Each floor has special things to show. The permanent exhibition shows you in chronological order the way things happened during nazism and communism. The most brutal part of the exhibition is the basement where you can see rooms where people were tortured, and that only a few meters from the street were normal people were passing by on their Sunday walk. In the basement you can also see an exhibition that deals with the revolution in 1956.

Terror Museum, Budapest
1062 Budapest, Andrássy Út 60
Open Tuesday-Sun

Victims on the Outside of the House of Terror

Entrance Door (Note: the door only opens if you press the red button on the right)
House of Terror is a museum located at Andrássy út 60 in Budapest, Hungary. It contains exhibits related to the fascist and communist dictatorial regimes in 20th century Hungary and is also a memorial to the victims of these regimes, including those detained, interrogated, tortured or killed in the building.
The museum opened on February 24, 2002 and the Director-General of the museum since then has been Dr. Mária Schmidt.

The museum was set up under the former center-right government of Viktor Orbán. In December 2000 the Public Foundation for the Research of Central and East European History and Society purchased the building with the aim of establishing a museum in order to commemorate these two bloody periods of Hungarian history.
During the year-long construction work, the building was fully renovated inside and out. The internal design, the final look of the museum's exhibition hall, and the external facade are all the work of architect Attila F. Kovács. The reconstruction plans for the House of Terror Museum were designed by architects János Sándor and Kálmán Újszászy. The reconstruction turned the exterior of the building into somewhat of a monument; the black exterior structure (consisting of the decorative entablature, the blade walls, and the granite sidewalk) provides a frame for the museum, making it stand out in sharp contrast to the other buildings on Andrássy Avenue.
[edit]Permanent exhibition

With regard to communism and fascism, the exhibition contains material on the nation's relationships to Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. It also contains exhibits related to Hungarian organisations such as the fascist Arrow Cross Party and the communist ÁVH (which was similar to the Soviet Union KGB secret police). Part of the exhibition takes visitors to the basement, where they can see examples of the cells that the ÁVH used to break the will of their prisoners.
Much of the information and the exhibits is in Hungarian, although each room has an extensive information sheet in both English and Hungarian. Audio guides in English and German are also available.
The background music to the exhibition was composed by former Bonanza Banzai frontman and producer Ákos. The scoring includes the work of a string orchestra, special stereophonic mixes, and sound effects.
It is not allowed to photograph or use video cameras inside of the building. There is no reduced fee for ICOM members.

Guide to Budapest
Budapespan Museum
The Terror House museum was opened on February 24 in 2002 and serves as a monument to the memory of those held captive, tortured and killed in the building of the museum. The goal of the museum is to show people that the fight for liberation was not in vain and that the war against the two cruellest systems (communism and nazism) of the 20th century ended with victory and independence.

The Terror House has exhibitions in the basement, on ground floor, on the first and on the second floor. Each floor has special things to show. The permanent exhibition shows you in chronological order the way things happened during nazism and communism. The most brutal part of the exhibition is the basement where you can see rooms where people were tortured, and that only a few meters from the street were normal people were passing by on their Sunday walk. In the basement you can also see an exhibition that deals with the revolution in 1956.

Terror Museum, Budapest
1062 Budapest, Andrássy Út 60
Open Tuesday-Sun

Some[who?] have argued that the museum portrays Hungary too much as the victim of foreign occupiers and does not recognise enough the contribution that Hungarians themselves made to the regimes in question as well.[1]
Most of the controversy has stemmed from the exhibition's perceived political slant. Some have said that the museum is a right-wing "political stunt" and is more a reflection of contemporary politics than of balanced historical fact. It has been seen by opponents as an attack on the socialists, many of whom were communists until 1989. Critics have criticized the fact that far more space is given to the terror of the communist regime than the fascist one. Also, the exhibition begins with a video showing invasions of the country and its loss of significant amounts of territory over the 20th century, which has been a popular theme of the Hungarian far-right in recent years.[2]
Answers to these critics generally revolve around the fact that, while the fascist regime of Ferenc Szálasi lasted only few months, the Hungarian Communist regime lasted for forty years. Mária Schmidt considers these debates to be primarily politically motivated attacks.[3]. Defenders of the museum also point out that several people who are subjects of the exhibition have ties to the Alliance of Free Democrats, such as Miklós Bauer, who is the father of the parliament member Tamás Bauer.[4] Also, the parents of Iván Pető, prominent leader of the Alliance of Free Democrats in the early 1990s, were both ÁVH agents and are noted as such by the museum.[5]
Controversies notwithstanding, the museum has been a popular tourist attraction, as shown by its many positive online reviews and large visitor numbers, more than 1000 people a day when it first opened in 2002. Schmidt has responded to criticisms of the museum’s political nature by saying "Is there anything in history that is not related to politics?"[6].

Cafe La Llave " Raices Cubanas "

dedico esto a Georgina Alayeto Vivanco
vecina de Calzada de Concha y Luyano
y al interprete cubano Vicentico Valdes

Our Quality Goes Back to Our Roots

It began over a hundred years ago with our ancestors, José María and Ramón Gaviña.

Seeking a better life, the two brothers left their homeland in the Basque region of Spain and traveled to the rich coffee-bearing soil of the southern Cuban mountains. It was on the productive land that their plantation, Hacienda Buenos Aires, began its reputation as the center of the region's coffee community.

But Hacienda Buenos Aires produced more than just the finest coffee in the land. Our father Don Francisco, was born there.

As a boy, he worked in the fields with his own father, watching and learning the secrets of growing quality coffee. He spent hours upon hours helping the field hands sow the seeds and urging the little plants to grow. Don Francisco also learned how to pick and dry the beans and slowly, over time, how to judge which were the very best quality and which were not. From that day to this, only the highest quality beans are ever chosen for roasting under the Gaviña label.

Today these same traditions live on in the Gaviña company. Don Francisco's four children - José, Leonor, Pedro, and "Paco" - who also grew up on the plantation, learned the art of growing coffee from their father. The company, now in America, reaps the benefits that come from this family's experience on their land.

Through selecting the finest beans from around the world, "cupping" each sample as it arrives, and making sure the roasting is perfect, the Gaviña's express their love of coffee.

It is rare, indeed, for a coffee to come from a family company that pioneered one of the early coffee plantations. It is even more rare to find a coffee company managed by people born and raised in the artful profession.

Beginning with their dedication to selecting the best coffeeavailable, to offering it at a fair price, the Gaviña family provides the best value in the business today.

Why not share our experience the next time you order coffee?

Arte en La Fonda Restaurant Exibicion de Pintores Angelinos

Cuna y sitio de Los Mariachis de Nati Cano
Los Camperos
La Fonda ofrece a la comunidad contacto
con pintores de Los Angeles

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After La Fonda on Wilshire closed last year near MacArthur Park, many disappointed fans bemoaned the loss of the 40-year Mexican institution.

Rumors of a possible move to the Eastern Columbia Building at 9th and Broadway maintained some hope for locals as plans were drawn up to convert the old space into a Korean karaoke bar.

A small group of new investors decided they couldn’t sit back and watch the tradition die. Damian Useda, one of La Fonda’s new owners, tells us that he and his partners fought to “preserve one of the largest displays of Mexican culture in Los Angeles.”

“La Fonda on Wilshire has undergone an extensive renovation, while still preserving that charm that many, including myself, have grown to love over the years.”

The menu, which previously seemed more of an afterthought to its famous Mariachi performances, has been completely reworked.

Head Chef Scott Velasquez, formerly of Mama Juana’s in Studio City, has created a spread of high-end Mexican cuisine including grilled tequila chicken, red snapper Veracruz style, braised short ribs and Chilean sea bass.

An extensive list of appetizers, soups, salads and creative desserts are also planned to lure in a mix of patrons from all over Los Angeles.

The re-envision La Fonda will debut on Valentine’s Day, and reservations are now being taken for a four-course champagne dinner. The special event runs through Sunday, February 17.

What about the mariachis?

Live performances February 14-17 will be staged by Mariachi Monumental de America at 7:15, 9:00 and 11:00 pm. That dining room show schedule will continue nightly after the opening weekend, with the bar lounge area expected to stay open until 2:00am.

Los Actos de Repudio en Cuba " Conducta Impropia "

Coro de Jovenes Cubanos
no olvidemos sus caras.....

Fidel Fidel Fidel

Pin Pon Fuera Abajo la Gusanera

En Cuba hace cincuenta años que no
hay derechos civiles. Yoani y su esposo
saben bien que la mano del sarten la
tiene el gobierno de FC .
Ambos pueden jugar a la disidencia
hasta un dia.
El regimen de los hermanos Castro
( no me refieron a los musicos)
jamas ha dejado de gobernar.

Hizo veinte años del sonado "Caso Ochoa...
Cuanto daño han hecho a la Revolucion
Cubana......Cuanto daño han hecho a FIDEL.....
melodrama -
Raul Castro

El show patetico que los Castros armaron
les salio tan pesimo que muchos exiliados
sintieron verguenza ajena, al oir las palabras
tontas de Raul Castro cuando hizo el mono-
logo al espejo. " En la mañana ,cuando me
levantes,.....e iba a cepillarme los dientes...
.....llore.....llore....por los hijos de Ochoa.
y las tontas declaraciones de Fidel
Fidel enviaba enormes cantidades de caramelos
a nuestras tropas ......Escurriendo el bulto
Cuba enfrentaba por segunda vez el escan-
dalo del trafico de primera vez
el acusado era Aldo Santamaria. Uno se
pregunta, esta gente tan inmadura como ha
podido mantenerse en el poder. Naturalmente
no podemos culpar de todo el mal que sobre
Cuba cayo, solamente a los Hermanos Castro
Culpables tambien son las anteriores genera-
taciones...los cubanos inescrupulosos que
forjaron el mal ejemplo, que el hijo de Banes
La disidencia la inventaron los rusos....
despues de la muerte del funesto Joseph Stalin

Conchita Bouza

Conducta Impropia Documental
Nestor Alemendros
Orlando J. Leal

Yo llegue a Francia hace dos años con mi
mujer y mi hijo , has sido verdaderamente
maravilloso conocer la libertad . Despues de
vivir bajo una dictadura, despues de haber
tenido la experiencias traumatizante que
dejaron cicatrises en nosotros para toda la
vida. En La Habana antes de salir nos hicieron
los llamados" Actos de Repudio" Practicamente
nos destruyeron la casa, nos lincharon moral-
mente . Fue horroroso, verdaderamene horroro-
so. El Partido Comunista , que es el unico parti-
do oficial en Cuba, llevo toda aquella masa a des-
truir mi casa, fui linchado psicologicamente, se
me nego el trabajo , se me nego toda forma de
subsitencia, se me congelaron los ahorros en el
banco, mi hijo fue expulsado de la escuela infan-
til y mi esposa expulsada del trabajo.

Fui catalogado elemento antisocial , no antiso-
cialista simpplemente porque me mostre en desa-
cuerdo con la represion que hay en el pais, por=
que me habia hechola peticin de abandonar el pais.

Mi esposa , que vino junto conmigo , era militante
de la Juventud del Partido . A los empleados de una
oficina del Gobierno donde ella trabajaba les dieron
todo el tiempo que fuera necesario para que fueran
a hacernos otro acto de repudio a nosotros. Asi
estuvimos encerrados en la casa unos dieciseis dias.
Pusieron altavoces ,[usieron carteles mas insultantes
que uno pueda imaginarse e n la fachada. Y hasta
cortaron la luz y el agua. Era un paisaje comun en
La Habana en los dias del Mariel; usted pasaba por la
calle y pronto encontraba una casa que tenia las cosas
mas groseras pintadas en la fachada y la pobre gente
no podia salir , porque si salia le caian a pedradas; una
cosa sencillamente barbara.

Diario las Américas
Ahora le tocó al esposo de Yoani Sánchez. Se trata del segundo acto de violencia paraestatal contra los movimientos de blogueros disidentes y opositores en Cuba en lo que va de este mes.
Reinaldo Escobar, esposo de Yoani Sánchez fue golpeado el viernes por “simpatizantes” del régimen, cuando acudía a reunirse con uno de los que al parecer golpearon a su esposa el pasado día 6. Escobar había citado al presunto agresor, al parecen un agente de la Seguridad del Estado, para sostener un “duelo verbal” sobre la agresión a su esposa.

En el lugar de la cita lo que encontró fue una turba de centenares de supuestos partidarios del régimen revolucionario que gribana vivas a Fidel (Castro) y a la revolución.

“Se formó un agresión física y empezaron a golpearnos y empurnos, dijo Escobar por vía telefónica. Según sus palabras, le halaron lo pelos, le pegaron con zapatos y otros objetos y le rompieron la ropa. “Después me metieron en un automóvil y me condujeron lejos del lugar”.

Estados Unidos no ha reaccionado ante esta nueva agresión pero días atrás criticó a las autoridades cubanas luego de que un grupo de blogueros fueran detenidos y golpeados cuando participaban de una marcha de jóvenes contra la violencia a principios de noviembre.

“Hemos expresado al gobierno cubano nuestra profunda preocupación sobre estas agresiones”, declaró el portavoz del Departamento de Estado, Ian Kelly, en un comunicado emitido la noche del lunes, denunciando “la represión y la violencia contra las voces de la libertad”.

“Seguimos recibiendo noticias de la salud personal y del acceso a la atención médica de Yoani Sánchez, Orlando Luis Pardo y Claudia Cadelo”, los tres blogueros en cuestión, agregó el portavoz.

Yoani Sánchez, de 34 años, maneja el blog “Generación Y”, crítico con el poder cubano de Raúl Castro, que le valió varios premios en ...

Sánchez afirmó haber sido golpeada y brevemente detenida en La Habana por policías de civil, en ocasión de una marcha de jóvenes.

Estados Unidos llama a las autoridades de la isla a “asegurar el pleno y total respeto de los derechos humanos y de las libertades fundamentales de todos sus ciudadanos”, subrayó Kelly.

Las autoridades cubanas consideran a los disidentes como “mercenarios” a sueldo de Estados Unidos. Washington ha condicionado el levantamiento del embargo impuesto a la isla comunista a una mejoría de la situación de los derechos humanos y de la libertad de expresión.

Después de esos incidentes, Yoani Sánchez envió sendos cuestionarios al gobernante de Cuba, Raúl Castro y al presidente de Estados Unidos, Barack Obama. El primero no ha respondido sus preguntas, el segundo respondió rápidamente y extensamente en un texto en el que le reclamaba al régimen cubano respetar los derechos humanos y dar libertad pòlítica a su pueblo. Ese documento puede leerse en el blog Generación Y así como en el sitio de internet DiariolasAmé

Support Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez who was beaten up by police

Teresa Puente on 11.07.09 | 2 comments |
In some parts of the world bloggers face tremendous risks just for speaking their truth.

Yoani Sanchez
Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez reported that on Friday she and another blogger, Orlando Luis Pardo, were beaten up by state security police in Havana while walking to a peaceful demonstration, according to a story in the Miami Herald.

`No blood, but black and blues, punches, pulled hairs, blows to the head, kidneys, knee and chest,'' Sánchez told El Nuevo Herald shortly after she and Pardo were freed. ``In sum, professional violence.''

Sanchez is considered the most respected blogger in Cuba and she has received international acclaim for her blog called Generation Y.

This year she was awarded the Maria Moors Cabot Prize, the oldest international award in journalism given by Columbia University. But the Cuban government would not let her leave the country, according to a story in the Columbia Journalism Review. Last year, she also was denied permission to fly to Madrid to accept the Ortega y Gasset Prize in digital journalism and she delivered an acceptance speech to her friends and family in Cuba. Time magazine listed her as one of the world's 100 most influential persons in the world in 2008.
Sanchez gets an estimated 1 million hits a month on her blog and described in more detail how she was detained and roughed up on Friday. To avoid government censors she uses a server hosted in Germany and she emails her posts to people outside Cuba.

One put his knee in my chest and the other, from the front seat, hit me in my kidneys and punched me in the head so I would open my mouth and spit out the paper. At one point I felt I would never leave that car. "This is as far as you're going, Yoani," "I've had enough of your antics," said the one sitting beside the driver who was pulling my hair. In the back seat a rare spectacle was taking place: my legs were pointing up, my face reddened by the pressure and my aching body, on the other side Orlando brought down by a professional at beating people up. I just managed to grab, through his trousers, one's testicles, in an act of desperation. I dug my nails in, thinking he was going to crush my chest until the last breath. "Kill me now," I screamed, with the last inhalation I had left in me, and the one in front warned the younger one, "Let her breathe."

I was listening to Orlando panting and the blows continued to rain down on us, I planned to open the door and throw myself out but there was no handle on the inside. We were at their mercy and hearing Orlando's voice encouraged me. Later he told me it was the same for him hearing my choking words... they let him know, "Yoani is still alive." We were left aching, lying in a street in Timba, a woman approached, "What has happened?"... "A kidnapping," I managed to say.

Reading about Sanchez's ordeal should give all of us in the United States an appreciation for the freedom we have to write and speak our truth. We should collectively use our voices to support bloggers

Relacion con el Pasado by Alejandro Cabranes Rubio
este blog ha quedado huerfano


Por Alejandro Cabranes Rubio

Eva Aladro, profesora de la Universidad Complutense en la facultad de Ciencias de la Información, lleva dos años luchando para preservar la herencia que dejó su madre Teresa Vico, la desaparecida directora del Teatro Albeniz; local hoy amenazado de muerte por una operación de compra venta que no hubiese sido posible realizar sin la retirada en vigor de una ley que protegía el centra. Tal acción en 2006 suscitó varias reacciones solidarias que respondieron a las iniciativas de la Plataforma de Ayuda al Teatro Albeniz. Eva Aladro recuerda las circunstancias que motivaron su fundación.

Eva Aladro: La plataforma de Ayuda al teatro Albéniz nace en mayo de 2006. Está integrada por 6400 ciudadanos, de Madrid, España y otros países, que quieren conservar el teatro Albéniz tal y como está, con su edificio histórico, su equipo de personal y su línea de programación que ha sido un emblema de la cultura madrileña de la edad contemporánea. Los portavoces de la Plataforma son Beltrán Gambier, abogado, Eva Aladro Vico, hija de la anterior directora de este teatro, Teresa Vico, David Aladro Vico, hermano de Eva, compositor y Berta Delgado, artista plástica.

La Plataforma lleva casi dos años trabajando por conseguir que las autoridades públicas (Ministerio de Cultura, Ayuntamiento y Comunidad de Madrid) preserven este teatro por su enorme valor y magnetismo cultural en el centro de la ciudad de Madrid.

El Teatro Albéniz ha sido, es y será un referente de la cultura teatral madrileña. Está ubicado en el centro de Madrid y acoge una programación múltiple que se ha convertido en una tradición cultural de la ciudad.

Los actuales propietarios pretenden derribarlo para construir viviendas, comercios y algún espacio teatral en el volumen que actualmente ocupa el teatro. La Plataforma de Ayuda al Teatro Albéniz considera un auténtico expolio cultural que un teatro con el éxito y la memoria del Albéniz pueda ser demolido hoy en día en Madrid.

Por ello, en su día esta Plataforma solicitó, con el apoyo de más de 6000 firmas ciudadanas, que el teatro fuera declarado Bien de Interés Cultural, para ser salvaguardado y protegido de este peligro. La Consejería de Cultura de la Comunidad de Madrid ha venido denegando tal declaración, basándose en argumentos muy pobres. Se ha recurrido, incluso, a organismos internacionales (UNESCO). Ahora se ha presentado un recurso contencioso administrativo que constituye un paso más para poner freno a la destrucción cultural que supondría la demolición del Albéniz.

-Rememora los primeros éxitos: la recopilación de firmas, las manifestaciones multitudinarias.

El teatro Albéniz, dirigido por Teresa Vico durante casi todo el período reciente de su actividad, en los últimos veinte años, ha sido un referente cultural esencial del teatro madrileño de la modernidad. El edificio es histórico, data de los años 40. El Albéniz se creó como un teatro musical, en el cual se estrenaron las últimas zarzuelas y obras del Maestro Guerrero. Durante veinte años, de 1960 a 1980, el Albéniz pasó a ser cine. Su amplísima capacidad de 1040 localidades y su amplitud escénica en el centro de Madrid le permitió convertirse en Cinerama en los años de esplendor de este dispositivo cinematográfico. A partir de los años 80, el Albéniz vuelve a ser teatro, esta vez convertido en el teatro oficial de la Comunidad de Madrid, que lo alquila durante 20 años.

Es en este período cuando el Albéniz se convierte en el buque insignia de los escenarios madrileños por la gran calidad y la originalidad de su programación. Espectáculos consagrados y novedosos como los de Els Joglars, Momix, Tricicle, nuevos valores que nacen en las tablas del Albéniz en danza y en baile flamenco (Joaquín Cortés, Rafael Amargo, Antonio Márquez), musicales (Sweeney Todd), ciclos de jazz (Tete Montoliú, Oscar Peterson), interpretaciones magistrales de clásicos (de Peter Ustinov a Adolfo Marsillach, de Fernán Gómez a Stephen Berckoff, la Royal Shakespeare, el Piccolo Teatro de Milán, la Berliner Ensemble, etc etc), y un sinfín de temporadas inolvidables van coronando al Albéniz como teatro de referencia cuyo estilo es copiado por los otros escenarios de la ciudad. Para los artistas el Albéniz es un teatro sagrado. Para los ciudadanos espectadores, el Albéniz simboliza la calidad cultural de Madrid.

A la muerte de su directora, Teresa Vico, el Albéniz es vendido por su propietario, se descataloga como edificio protegido para este fin y se anuncia su futura demolición para construir sobre su inmenso solar pisos y comercios. Los trámites que permiten demoler el Albéniz pasan por una retirada de un recurso de protección del teatro, retirada deshonrosa que lleva a cabo la Comunidad de Madrid bajo el gobierno de Esperanza Aguirre. Es entonces cuando una lista interminable de personalidades de la cultura, la literatura, la política, el teatro mundial, se unen para protestar por la desaparición de este lugar único de la memoria reciente de nuestra cultura.

La Plataforma de Ayuda al teatro Albéniz comienza a movilizarse para hacer conocido el caso nacional e internacionalmente. Convoca manifestaciones a las que asisten grandes personalidades de cine y teatro, presenta las primeras 4000 firmas ciudadanas ante el departamento de Patrimonio de la Comunidad de Madrid. Lleva el caso a la UNESCO de Madrid. Solicita que el Teatro Albéniz sea declarado Bien de Interés Cultural por su valor social en la ciudad como raíz de la comunicación ciudadana. Difunde en medios de comunicación, en conferencias de prensa, actos públicos, y otras manifestaciones, el caso Albéniz. Recoge las declaraciones de muchísimos espectadores y autores culturales a favor de la conservación del Albéniz.

-¿Qué opinión le merece la propuesta de crear un pequeño teatro en la nueva macrosuperficie, y las actitudes que a continuación desató tal promesa?

E.A.: La Plataforma de Ayuda al Albéniz rechaza la sustitución del Albéniz por otro edificio, aún cuando contenga un teatro de menores dimensiones para justificar esa demolición. Es cierto que la empresa inmobiliaria quiso crear una división de opiniones al anunciar que “salvaba” el Albéniz creando un teatro en su lugar, pero hoy en día está claro que la inmensa mayoría de las personas de la plataforma apoyan la idea clave de la misma: la conservación del teatro Albéniz con su edificio, su equipo profesional y su programación pública.

-¿Cómo os pusiste en contacto con algunos arquitectos para demostrar que se puede considerar al Teatro un bien cultural?

E.A.: Entre los muchos amigos del Albéniz surgió la ayuda desinteresada de la procuradora Mercedes Albi Murcia, que es Presidenta de la Comisión de Cultura en el Ilustre Colegio de Procuradores de Madrid. Su labor pro bono se suma a la de nuestro letrado, Beltrán Gambier, y a la de los profesores de Derecho Administrativo Jesús Prieto de Pedro, Luis Ortega Álvarez y Blanca Lozano Cutanda, ya que todos ellos han actuado sin percibir honorario alguno. Estos catedráticos de Derecho Cultural han escrito dictámenes que hemos remitido para apoyar la idea de que el Albéniz es un Bien de Interés Cultural por sí mismo, y ellos han apoyado judicialmente ese valor.

-¿A qué atribuye la negativa de declarar bien cultural al Albeniz por parte de un juez?

E.A.: Se trata de un asunto de intereses y amistades que afectó al gobierno de la presidenta Esperanza Aguirre. La presidenta retiró el recurso que protegía al Albéniz para poder pactar con sus propietarios del mundo inmobiliario, afines a su propia proveniencia, la cesión del teatro mientras fuera necesario. Por ideología, y por amistad, Aguirre se negó a hacer nada para salvar el teatro ante los tribunales. Se trata de una actitud de pasividad que afecta gravemente al futuro del teatro.

-¿Considera las pequeñas concentraciones en el teatro fracasos?

E.A.: En absoluto. Un movimiento social de lucha por la conservación de un bien no siempre registra en sus actividades la presencia masiva de sus integrantes, pero el movimiento lucha precisamente contra esto, y sus integrantes además están ahí, aparecen en distintas ocasiones, contribuyen económicamente (1) y podemos decir que la Plataforma está más viva que nunca en estos momentos.

-¿Cuándo os pusisteis en contacto con Alejandro Sanz para llevar a cabo más pequeños actos?

E.A.: Hay otros movimientos de reivindicación cultural afines al nuestro, como la Asociación Vicente Aleixandre o la misma ACIBU, que protege los cines y teatros de la ciudad. Cuando notamos que nuestra finalidad era la misma, convocamos actos colectivos, que fueron realizados ante todas las instituciones responsables de cuidar el patrimonio cultural, y que nos rechazaron impidiendo incluso que nos manifestáramos delante de sus edificios, como hizo el Ministerio de Cultura.

-¿Cree que resulta sintomático de este país el hecho de que "la vecinita" acaparase atención de los medios en detrimento de una lectura del manifiesto conjunto de las asociaciones?

E.A.: Es simplemente parte de las circunstancias culturales de hambruna y de miseria que vivimos, no le damos mayor importancia, nosotros tenemos algo más importante en que pensar.

-¿Cuándo contactasteis con Mercedes Albi y como contribuyó en la redacción del recurso contencioso administrativo?

E.A.: Mercedes Albi es miembro de la Plataforma desde su comienzo. Cuando ella supo que buscábamos fondos para poder pagar a un procurador en el recurso contencioso, se ofreció a colaborar gratuitamente.

-¿La vía jurídica es la única efectiva para impedir la demolición?

E.A.: Es una via que puede ser eficaz aunque es lenta, veremos a ver qué depara en el futuro, pero tenemos otros planes de continuar movilizando a medios y opinión pública, así como entrevistarnos con más instituciones que pudieran ayudar al Albéniz.

-¿Qué líneas de actuación va a emprender la plataforma?

E.A.: Queremos recomenzar las movilizaciones ante el teatro, entrevistarnos con varias instituciones culturales, convocar más coloquios, manifestaciones y acciones conjuntas con las otras asociaciones culturales.

-¿Qué postura mantiene la Plataforma frente a la construcción del Teatro del Canal?

E.A.: Nosotros creemos que el Teatro del Canal y el Albéniz pueden coexistir en Madrid como dos teatros de la Comunidad, y por ello no deseamos que su proyecto se trunque con un final chapucero. Por eso entendemos la postura del Colegio oficial de Arquitectos defendiendo la labor de su arquitecto.

-¿Cuándo es la próxima cita?

E.A.: Vamos a solicitar una entrevista con la SGAE de la que informaremos a los medios en su momento. Y queremos volver al Albéniz para movilizar a los espectadores. Anunciaremos cuándo con antelación (2).

(2)Se prevee que sea el jueves 6 de marzo frente al Ministerio de Cultura a las 18:30 se reunan diversas asociaciones para leer el manifiesto contra la destrucción del Patrimonio Histórico Cultural

Cuando a término de una manifestación convocado el 18 de octubre de 2007, uno de los allí presentes regresó a su casa tuvo que compartir ascensor con sus vecinos. Estos no pudieron evitar curiosear entre las pegatinas con eslóganes que llevaba puesto. “No hay que ir contra los tiempos” dijeron. Y tienen razón. Menos disgustos tendríamos. ¿Para qué reivindicar patrimonio histórico cultural? ¿Para fosilizarnos en un pasado? ¿Para anquilosarnos en ideales románticos poco pragmáticos?

No. Los chavales prefieren, como diría Joaquín Sabina, “ahogarse en un vaso de ginebra”. Pero la vida en Madrid ya no es, como afirmó el cantautor, “un tren a punto de partir”. Desde los andenes sólo podrían verse macrosuperficies haciéndose hueco en el asfalto. ¿Cómo vamos a ver teatro si primero tenemos que comprar calzado, o echar un buche en el estómago? ¿A quién se le ocurre acudir al cine si desde el ordenador podemos descargarnos absolutamente todo? ¿Cómo se pretende disfrutar de espectáculos vivos si, como todo el mundo sabe, “el cine y el teatro” son naturalezas muertas? Lo que hay que hacer sin duda es subastar y con el dinero recaudado fundar una nueva tienda de ropa, un hipercort.

Hagámoslo y la vida será más plena. El precio inicial de la primera pieza de la colección se estima en torno a los cien euros, cifra con la que podemos vender nuestra identidad. Porque al representar un teatro y rodar una película lo único que hacemos es escenificarnos a nosotros mismos, como buenos ególatras antineoliberales que somos.

Nuestros problemas, nuestra relación con el pasado, nuestras preocupaciones hacia el futuro, nuestras mentiras, nuestros pequeños logros, nuestra conducta destructiva, nuestra humanidad… Abajo las tablas y la pantalla grande. Arriba la modernidad. Si sacamos más beneficios con las tiendas, si ya cubrimos nuestras necesidades en Telépolis –la ciudad ideada y descrita por Javier Echevarria-, se acabaron las preocupaciones.

Por fin nuestra rutina se basará en la conformidad. De una vez por todas podremos seguir hacia delante, pagar nuestra hipoteca y cumplir con hacienda. Las guerras ya no formarían parte de nuestro imaginario al no representar su crudeza, su barbarie. Los abusos y las mezquindades tampoco. Ni los debates éticos. Y mucho menos esa duda permanente que sólo siembra desconfianza. Subastemos.La segunda pieza de la colección es nuestra integridad. Unos ochenta euros cuesta. Renunciemos a salvar un teatro cuando podemos conformarnos con tener en propiedad una sala enana con la que cubrir salidas profesionales.

Retiremos sentencias que protejan al Albéniz. Desestimemos la idea de que es un bien cultural: cuarenta años de programación no merecen consideración alguna. Es mucho mejor recibir comisiones y favores a cambio. Más productivo. Dejemos de pedir al Ministerio de Cultura que compre no sólo el teatro, sino también la casa de Vicente Aleixandre; no vaya a ser que alguien haga el esfuerzo de hacer promesas que no prosperen. Derribemos el pabellón del Instituto Libre de Enseñanza y el palacio de Bobadilla del monte. Coloquemos al frente de los recintos afectos a miembros del gobierno de la comunidad de Madrid para que improvisen una programación teatral que cubra el fin último: simular conservar el arte. Ahorremos gasto.

Disfrutemos de los beneficios urbanísticos y encarguemos a nuestros familiares el diseño arquitectónico de los edificios que sustituyan al teatro y reliquias del patrimonio histórico cultural. Subastemos. La tercera pieza es la dignidad. Cincuenta euros vale. Pujemos contra la desertización del arte, de la conservación de la literatura. Dejemos en la estacada a los pequeños comerciantes beneficiados de la atracción turística que despiertan los mausoleos que derribemos.

Prometamos sobre papel mojado la conservación de los puestos de trabajo de los empleados que trabajen en ellos. Enorgullezcámonos después de “presentar los festivales de otoño” en diversas publicaciones estatales y municipales. Recordemos a la gente que resulta hipócrita recuadar firmas en contra de determinados acontecimientos porque luego no leemos y vemos nada. Abandonemos nuestros ideales de ataño y refórmumelos, como hizo un laboralista que escribió un informe para Sarkozy en el que se instaba a no cuestionar ningún efecto colateral de la globalización. Reduzcamos nuestra capacidad para pensar en abstracto: gracias a eso disfrutaremos de una publicidad más efectiva y simple…y que se traduzca en anuncios dirigidos a la clase media en los que se reivindique el derecho fundamental del hombre a…navegar en la red.

Subastemos. Y lleguemos por fin a la pieza fundamental de esta colección: nuestra libertad. La oferta de salida es cinco euros. Desaprovechemos la posibilidad del teatro, el cine, la biblioteca, para aprender a disentir. A pensar. A emocionarnos. A ponernos en puntos de vista ajenos al nuestro. A ser solidarios. A protestar. No vayamos en contra de los tiempos. Porque una sociedad sin ruido es una sociedad en la que no pasa nada. Tranquila y prospera, antihumana. Subastemos. ¾

Alejandro Cabranes Rubio.