Cuban Posters

With a small rebel army, Fidel Castro seizes power in Cuba by the end of 1958. Although he tries to take an independent line, he must deal with significant Russian influence on the new regime. The socialist realist posters from the early years attest to this influence.

Around 1965, in a period of strained relations with the Soviet Union, the Cubans decide to develop styles more suitable to their own circumstances. A period of artistic freedom follows. The arts flourish, and there are lively international contacts. Talented Cuban artists start designing colourful, inventive posters of traditional subjects such as commemorations of the revolution or calls for more production. The Cuban leaders are portayed as cheerful and unconventional. Especially striking are the splendid posters issued by cultural organizations such as the ICAIC, the Cuban film institute. OSPAAAL, the organization for solidarity with the people of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, distributes its posters worldwide. Che Guevara's portrait is transformed into an international symbol for romantic rebellion.

In the 1970s the liveliness becomes less marked. Artistic freedom is subordinated to the spreading of the proper revolutionary morality. Ties with the Soviet Union are tightened in the same period. A unique chapter in the history of the political poster comes to an end.

1. J. Forjans, Be alert!, 1962

2. May Day, ca. 1965

3. Fourth anniversary of the revolution, 1963

4. Let's do our job!, ca. 1961

5. Seventh anniversary, 1966

6. R. Martínez, With Cuba, 1966

7. Portocarrero, We salute the first Tricontinental Conference, 1966

8. R. Mederos, Better not to be, than not to be revolutionary, 1968

9. A. Prieto, All to the square, 1970

10. F. Beltrán, Long live the seventeenth anniversary of July 26, 1970
11. R. Martínez, Fidel, 1968

12. R. Martínez, Che, 1968

13. R. Martínez, Camilo, 1969

14. E. Serrano, Day of the Heroic Guerrilla, 1968

15. A. Rostgaard, Che, 1969

16. P. Rodriguez, And where will we be on January 2? In the cane fields!, 1970

17. E. Alvarez, Setback, 1970

18. To celebrate the biggest harvest in history, 1970

19. A. Rostgaard, Christ guerrillero, 1969

20. International week of solidarity with Africa, ca. 1969

21. J. Forjans, Week of solidarity with the peoples of Asia, 1967

22. A. Perez, International week of solidarity with Latin America, 1970

23. R. Mederos, Vietnam, 1967

24. R. Mederos, Nixon, 1971

25. F. Beltrán, Freedom for Angela Davis, 1971

26. A. Rostgaard, ICAIC tenth anniversary, 1969

27. E. Muñoz Bachs, Mobile cinema, 1969

28. A. Reboiro, A forest is growing, 1967

29. E. Muñoz Bachs, Position 1, 1967

30. R. Martínez, Lucia, 1968

31. A. Rostgaard, Cimarron, 1967

32. A. Rostgaard, The forgotten war, 1967

33. A. Rostgaard, To victory, always, 1968