Searching for Normalcy

"And finally, above all else, it is about leaving a mark that I existed: I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful. I had an idea and I had a good purpose and that’s why I made works of art…" – Felix Gonzalez-Torres

one small step for (cuban wo-)man… May 14, 2008

Filed under: Blogging — Lulu @ 6:37 pm

I love blog reading. I currently have 138 blog subscriptions on my Google Reader, and I like to think that I learn something from each and every one of them. Whether a new crafting technique, the name of a hot new designer, or the political story "of the now" (wink), blogs – for the most part – have proven to be pretty educational for me.

I was particularly grateful to find this post on Bilingual in the Boonies, about Yoani Sanchez, a Cuban blogger writing about life – REAL life – in Cuba. I had never heard of Yoani (however, my mom had; go figure!) but after coming across Carrie’s post I started reading her (Spanish-language) blog, Generación Y.*

Incredibly interesting and captivating. And much more raw and honest than the "everything’s great, please send medicine" emails my mom receives regularly from my cousin, Alex. And let’s be blunt — this is one brave, ballsy woman! Living in a country where political oppression and censorship is the norm, she’s openly writing about the real deal. And she does so without fear, without self-censorship, and without hesitation. In my book, THAT is bravery in its purest form.

Earlier this month, she was awarded a journalism award by the Spanish newspaper, El Pais. Unsurprisingly, the Cuban government (the same one that is claiming all this change and freedom and a "New World Order" – cough, cough) did not allow her to leave the island to receive said prize. Yeah, that’s a shocker.

To echo Carrie’s sentiments, I cheer for Yoani as well. I applaud her "chispa". And I, also, wish her safety.

* The blog’s name comes from the "Y Griega" thing experienced in Cuba over the last three decades. After the exile, women born in Cuba during the 70s and 80s, under Communist rule, with Russian educations and upbringings, were given what were thought of as "Russian-sounding" names that begin with "Y". Hence the abundance of 20- and 30-something Yaneisys, Yusimis, etc. I personally have known a Yaneisy, Yalornia, Yadelkis, Yaidet, Yanin, Yanette and two Yanelles. Hmm… if my parents hadn’t gotten out when they did would I be "Yalou"?? Something to ponder.

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