Living Statues of Havana
By Rachel Pereda
Amid this hustle and bustle, the almost magical stillness of the living statue street performers invites people to stop for a moment, to freeze time and travel back through history.
“Each day we convey a new message with street art, always trying to combine fun with history or telling a special message to the public,” Alberto Sánchez, the creator of Proyecto Viviente Revolución—the the Living Revolution Project—told CubaPlus.
According to street performer Arigneyis Cruz, the initiative aims to rescue the city’s heritage, with historic characters reborn in parks, gardens and the entire environment of Old Havana.
In the oldest section of the city, the living statues take visitors by surprise with a sudden movement. Concentration, hours of study and discipline are some of the ingredients of the magic formula behind each street performer. Some passers-by are astonished, many make jokes and others tip them. Street performer David Ronco confessed he has the good fortune of always taking somebody by surprise.
“Many people think we are real statues,” he noted. “I perform characters including the Lady of Fortune.
I carry messages of peace, happiness, faith, hope…,” stressed Cruz. Real artists lie under the skin of the living statues.
They are men and women who seem to challenge the laws of nature by remaining still. Each one tells a story.
Their apparel, makeup and the slow movements are all part of an atmosphere resembling a time travel aimed at rescuing some past memories left in oblivion.
Havana is a city in movement. The stillness of the human statues represents a marvellous contrast.
Each character is the result of the artist’s imagination and creativity. They seem to be made from stone, tin or bronze but if you look at them closely they represent life, history, art and also Havana.