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Articles Illustration: Mayo Bous. Illustration: Mayo Bous.

Women in Cuban Music: Three Winning Comics (and a Bonus)

For those who were anxious - like us - to read the winning comics of our contest Women in Cuban music, you will be pleased to find diverse stories, not only from the aesthetics of their authors, but also from the narrative proposal itself. Rita Montaner, Celina González, Teresita Fernández and a young pianist at the beginning of her career are the protagonists of these stories that we show you with the collaboration of the Vitrina de Valonia center and the Cultural Department of the Embassy of Spain.

The winning comics are just a sample of the wealth of approaches from which the participants responded to our challenge to talk about women and Cuban music. If we needed any confirmation that this is a path we can explore to tell stories, the work of these artists has been more than enough proof. 

Rita Montaner, by Adrian del Pino 

“I have been drawing since I can remember. I was always passionate about cartoons, video games and graphics in general, but what attracts me the most is telling stories with images. That's where my passion is born. I came to the comic, or better, I learned of its existence as a genre and creative possibility in Comic Art. There I discovered my love for this media and I met people without whom I would not be answering these questions today.     

“To make this story I had only one page, quite a challenge. So I remembered the song of The manisero, performed by Rita Montaner, which is a classic of our music. Who has never sung it? "Peanuts, Peanuts the peanut grower is leaving!" Telling a story in that space to honor an artist with such a prolific career and life did not take me anywhere else than to use a fragment of one of her most emblematic songs and narrate a simple love story.

First place for the Rita Montaner comic. Author: Adrian del Pino

I am the Cuban point, by Jennifer Ancizar

“I think my passion for comics is due to my parents. They incorporated in me, since I was little, that the ritual of going to the Book Fair was sacred and there the possibility of acquiring comic books became much easier. I grew up with Padrón, Oliver, Lillo, Wilson and a large collection of Zunzun and Pioneer (there was no tobacconist to resist). But the path to comics has been much longer and zigzag, it has much of the seasoning of both Cuban creators and great ones in the world; the luck of sharing with true comics devourers, knowing from the inside the work of illustrators and cartoonists and the pleasure of seeing the ninth art linked to a subject that I am as passionate about as heritage, have been a delight and a boost in this relationship .

“On the other hand, choosing among so many women heads of Cuban music was very difficult. At that moment the choice comes to you through a much stronger, affective bond. I have been dancing Cuban popular dance since I was seven or eight years old and the punto guajiro was one of my favorite genres. Then at home I saw Palms and Reeds, and there was that great lady, with a dress similar to mine, singing some beautiful, catchy and very Cuban melodies. That music and the scenery smelled like the countryside to me, I liked to sing and my father was almost a henchman for all that jelengue. Celina González came to me when I was very young and her death was something that impacted me. I am the Cuban point It's one of those songs that make me bristle, that give me plantain. This was a tribute that perhaps I owed a long time ago but I didn't know it yet, to a Cuban who took our traditional tunes to such diverse scenarios and to this rural musical heritage, of Cuba and of humanity”.

I am the Cuban point. Author: Jennifer Ancizar.


Remy: I've been consuming comic strips since I was little, but I decided to get actively into creation thanks to the work carried out by the Valonia Showcase. Teresita Fernández is one of the singer-songwriters who are part of the soundtrack of every Cuban's life and who, in my opinion, deserves greater recognition in the media due to the quality of her work. 

GabriellaI came to the comic through my friend and artist Remy. He told me about the contest and suggested that I participate with a text in tribute to the Cuban singer-songwriter Teresita Fernández, an icon in Cuban and Latin American children's music. We believed that it was just a tribute to the author who gave so much talent to those of us who were and are children on the Island.

Tonight. Authors: Remy Hernández and Gabriela González.

Lucy García Montalvo, the great Cuban pianist, by Amelia Sautié Oquendo

“I like to draw, and I am at the José Antonio Díaz Peláez Experimental School of Visual Arts. During the holidays I took a comics course at the Fábrica de Arte Cubano, with professor Ana Roxana Díaz Olano. Later, I passed another one of comics in Espacios +Adolescentes, taught by several teachers. I also have many friends who share the same interests. Now I draw comics and characters until I take them to CorelDraw or Photoshop. My dad is teaching me.

About my character I can tell that my mother likes science fiction a lot and since I have a cousin who is studying piano, it occurred to me that Cuban women could take their music throughout the universe. "

Lucy García Montalvo, the great Cuban pianist. Author: Amelia Sautié Oquendo
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