Cuban Women’s Voices in a Changing Economy and Society
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT
Washington Office on Latin America
1666 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 400, Washington D.C.
Join us for this all-female panel with some of Cuba’s most prominent artists, designers, and entrepreneurs who will share their stories and talk about their challenges as women and entrepreneurs in Cuba today. In addition, they will discuss how the recent changes in U.S. policy towards Cuba, including limits on travel, visas, and remittances have impacted them/their families/their businesses. It will be a unique chance to bring together prominent women to talk about a changing Cuban society, their visions for the future, and to explore opportunities for U.S.-Cuba engagement.
We will be joined by Idania del Río and Leire Fernández, co-founders of Clandestina, Cuba’s first independent fashion brand. As designers and artists, they reflect the avant-garde that has long characterized Cuban cultural production, and as women entrepreneurs, they embody the changing economy. Established in 2015, Clandestina is a collective of Cuban designers and artists creating urban, upcycled goods that embody the best part of Cuban heritage—humor and grit—expressed through their signature slogan, “Actually, I’m in Havana”. Among their team of designers—and another one of the panelists—is Celia Ledón, one of Cuba’s frontrunners in a sustainable fashion. Her work was featured in D.C.’s Artes de Cuba Festival last year. Gabriela Otaño, a producer for Cuba Educational Travel and a logistics manager for Cuban rap/hip-hop duo Reyna y Real, will also provide input based on her experiences. The panelists speak to and reflect emerging currents in Cuban society, and with Clandestina’s ongoing focus on Cuba as a global community, there is no better time to embrace the many things that unite our communities in both countries and around the world. As Clandestina puts it, “Despite our sometimes bitter past, we are united by the same energy and soul.”
Executive Director, Center for Democracy in the Americas
Idania del Río and Leire Fernández, Clandestina
Celia Ledón, Fashion and Costume Designer
Gabriela Otaño, Cuba Educational Travel
Program Associate, Washington Office on Latin America