Summer 2004

Design from a real-life revolution

¡Revolución!: Cuban Poster Art

By Lincoln Cushing, Chronicle Books
£11.25

. . .

A lot has gone wrong since those heady days when Cuba was a model for (and exporter of) social and political revolution to the third world. The Castro regime never lived up to its promises. Still, the posters from the golden age produced under the auspices of artists’ unions (including the most notable, OSPAAAL – the Organization in Solidarity with the People of Africa, Asia, and Latin America), currently collected in Lincoln Cushing’s handsomely designed and smartly documented book, attest to these right impulses for the failed cause . . .

¡Revolución! provides scholarly insight of an impressive legacy and chronicles a valuable historical record of Cuban culture that has long valued art and artists. ‘Our enemy is imperialism, not abstract art,’ wrote Castro in 1977 (quoted in the book). And this collection of cultural and political posters may inspire today’s young propagandists.