Story of Cuban art – and jailed artists – comes to York

A detail from Por Quien Merece Amor (For Those Who Deserve Love) by Antonio Guerrero, one of the jailed Cuban artists

What do Cuban art and an alleged miscarriage of American justice have in common with York?

The answer: two events are to be held in the city promoting contemporary art from Cuba while highlighting the plight of the so-called Miami Five.

This is the name for five Cubans jailed for 13 years in Miami in 2001. As the Guardian explained, they

“had infiltrated militant anti-Castro exile groups in Florida that were suspected of carrying out sabotage attacks aimed at destabilising Cuba.

“The men were sentenced in Miami to terms varying from 15 years to ‘double life’ on the grounds that they were acting in the US as agents of a foreign power. Their defence was that they were seeking to disrupt terrorist attacks which, the Cuban government claims, have caused hundreds of deaths, most recently in a 90s bombing campaign in Havana hotels and clubs aimed at derailing the booming holiday industry.”

An exhibition called Beyond The Frame, staged in London and Glasgow, includes art by two of the jailed men and is raising funds for the Miami Five.

Now the story is being brought to York University. An exhibition and fundraising party, hosted by Norman Rea Gallery and The Courtyard, Langwith College on May 1 at 8pm, offers the chance to see works by leading Cuban artists, and will feature live music.

The following day, May 2, the university’s history of art department is hosting a meeting with two of the Cuban artists, Lesbia Vent Dumois and Gustavo Díaz Sosa. This event, at the Berrick Saul Lecture Theatre, takes place between 5pm and 7pm.

All are welcome and entry is free, although donations will be welcomed.