An international colloquium, concerts, performance of folkloric projects and interviews to legendary ‘rumberos’ (rumba performers) are part of the agenda of the festival. The annual event seeks to recognize the historical and cultural legacy of the African presence in Cuba, the Caribbean and Latin America, based on its living heritage.
The event takes place under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and the collaboration of the National Council of Houses of Culture, the National Heritage Council, the National Association of Cuban Writers and Artists, the Hermanos Saiz Association and the Fernando Ortiz Foundation, among others.
In recent dialogue with Prensa Latina, Ulises Mora and Irma Castillo, president and vice president, respectively, of ‘Timbalaye,’ an international promoter of Cuban culture, explained that this year’s event will be held at a distance, respecting the health regulations imposed to fight Covid-19.
According to Mora and Castillo, there is a need to resort to new communication strategies given the eventful scenario created by the spread of the novel coronavirus that forced to implement social distancing measures to protect people.
However, the festival’s program includes about twenty activities with the participation of ‘rumba’ groups from Pinar del Rio, Havana, Mayabeque, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Villa Clara, Camagüey and Santiago de Cuba, and tributes to prestigious groups, ‘rumberos’ and others personalities.
Castillo recalled that Timbalaye emerged in 1999 as part of the international campaign for the release of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly held in US prisons, time from which it grew to become a major event.
Castillo, Mora’s partner in life and in promoting Cuba’s culture as folkloric dance teachers in Italy, underlined Timbalaye’s contribution to recognize rumba as UNESCO’s Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2015.