This exhibition highlights Cuban posters acquired through the enthusiastic efforts of my mentor and predecessor, Dr. Carlos Delgado, retired librarian for the Latin American collection. In 2000, Dr. Delgado arranged an innovative exchange with the José Martí National Library of Cuba, creating a collection of more than 300 Cuban posters produced by official government agencies which illustrate cultural, social and political events of 20th century Cuban life.
The UC Berkeley Library digitized these posters in keeping with its Strategic Plan goal of enhancing discovery and accessibility to UC research materials. As a token of my gratitude, I created this online exhibition as a counterpart to the physical exhibition held at the FSM Café in 2015, organized by Dr. Carlos Delgado and Ms. Shayee Khanaka. Ms. Khanaka was the librarian for Middle Eastern Studies at that time.
These posters served as a propaganda tool for the socialist regime of Fidel Castro. The regime wished to portray itself as a humanitarian regime by promoting art, music, social and cultural events through a lens of international solidarity. As a collection, these posters present a visual statement of Cuba’s unique perspective on and position in the world during the final four decades of the 20th century.
This digital exhibition is curated by Dr. Liladhar P. , the Librarian for the Caribbean and Latin American Collections at the Main Library of UC Berkeley. He is grateful to Beth Shippey and Aisha Hamilton for their thoughtful help and edits.