Lukumi Arts is an interdisciplinary arts collective dedicated to creating innovative projects. Founded (January2008) as an open and growing collective of artists, orisha/palo priests and practitioners, singers, dancers, percussionists, MCs, and producers; we narrate stories that reflect the history, struggles, perserverance and beauty of our community. Amidst a negative array of stereotypes, images and misinformation about Afro-Cuban religions and culture, we communicate the positive, empowering nature of Afro-Cuban traditions through the arts.
Over the past decade as 9/11, the BP Oil spill, Hurricane Katrina occurred, and with the Georgia execution of Troy Davis yesterday, Americans have created innovative, multicultural community spaces to frame new demands for social justice and equality. The project objective of Cocinando Guaguanco is to explore Afro-Cuban contemporary responses to social ills such as violence, racism, police brutality and poverty.
Through a theatrical performance and interactive multimedia installation we will pierce silences on Afro-Cuban performance contributions to these emerging communities.Although Cuban rumba culture grows internationally, political policies maintain Afro-Cubans liminal existence in both Cuba and the U.S. The rich stories that narrate this reality have become increasingly silenced. Afro-Cuban rumba is both a social gathering and genre of music that has always been a policed, suppressed social art often labeled as “violent, drug infused, and criminal” in its struggle to claim public spaces for rumberos of color. Cocinando Guaguanco combines the Spanish word “cooking” and the rumba rhythm “guaguancó” to illustrate how improvisation leads to new, hybrid creations in Afro-Cuban culture. In the performance narrative Odymaris Caridad utilizes her cultural legacy and rumba to empower her changing Brooklyn community. She is guided by the legacy of her grandmother, Gladys Victoria, who lives within tenants of Afro-Cuban spirituality and shares beloved family recipes that draw neighborhood characters to their home.