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Relational Economies: Labor over Capital

Cantos de trabajo

The trinitarian tunes are a unique modality within the complex Afro-Cuban musical manifestations exclusive of the city of Trinidad, in the province of Sancti Spiritu. They are the product of the encounter between the guajira tradition, the musical practices derived from the Bantú and the melodic twirls coming from Spain. Between the stanzas and melodies that are preserved through the veteran bearers, some are identified as work songs in the cane fields. It is precisely this repertoire on which this chapter of the project is based, consisting of a video installation.

Filmed in the Valle de los ingenios with the voice as the protagonist, this work travels through the landscapes that were once sugarcane plantations sustained by the work of the slaves. The Watchtower, the ruins of the barracones, the rancher’s farm are staged for this sound action that appeals to memory.

During the live action, the Tonadas Trinitarias choir group in collaboration with a lyric chorus, performed five tunes in the lobby of the Galbán Lobo Student Residence, which building walls are covered by paintings that refer to the process of cultivation, extraction,

and commercialization of sugarcane. The first tune, sung at the door of the house, begins by saying, ” I come to ask you master, That you let me sing That you let me sing That you let me sing…”

Relational Economies: Labor over Capital, is an exhibition that reflects on the impacts of economic crises on different parts of the world and sectors of society, prompting a dialogue about alternatives to the trappings of capitalism.


Group exhibition: Relational Economies: Labor over Capital

Venue: The 8th Floor. New York, US

November 21, 2019 – March 7, 2020

More information: https://www.the8thfloor.org/


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