The Haydee Santamaría Medal granted by the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba, at the request of Casa de las Américas, was imposed this July 4 to the American filmmaker Estela Bravo by the Minister of Culture Alpidio Alonso, in an emotional ceremony carried out in the Sala Che Guevara of the institution founded by the Heroine of Moncada, whose name holds the high distinction.
As an act that pays off an old debt with a close collaborator, this medal was qualified; carried out on the same date 60 years ago Casa de las Américas did its first public activity, and on the Independence Day of the United States of America, a country with which the prestigious documentary maker has helped build bridges from the culture.
When pronouncing the words of praise, Jorge Fornet, director of the Center for Literary Research of the institution, recalled the work that between 1967 and 1970 Estela Bravo developed there at the head of the Protestation Song Center; which organized "the legendary today " International Meeting that brought together many cultists of the genre from different countries and stimulated the emergence of the New Cuban Trova Movement.
He also referred to the book published in 2013 by the Editorial Fund of Casa de las Américas based on the documentary of its author, Operation Peter Pan; as well as to the hoarding in the Library of the entity of great part of its restored filmic work, thanks to the donation that the documentarist did of it.
"Today, the Haydee Santamaría Medal is presented to someone who represents the best of the United States: the tradition of Emerson and Whitman that Martí admired so much", the essayist pointed out, later referring to the fact that, while still being a citizen of her mother country, Estela Bravo is another Cuban, an honor she has won with her dedication to the culture of our nation, which has been recognized with the Machete of Máximo Gómez’ Replica and the Friendship Medal.
"With the Haydee Santamaría Medal that today we give to Estela Bravo, we want to recognize the work and life of a woman dedicated to creation; that it has contributed to make us see better the world - the most immediate and the greatest universe of our America -, with other eyes; which is, after all, the greatest possible achievement of any artist", he concluded.
In acknowledging the high distinction, the author of about fifty documentaries recalled the years of youth when she met his partner in life, the Argentine Ernesto Bravo and both decided to settle in our country, at the beginning of the 60s of the last century.
"I have tried to bring the peoples of the United States and Cuba closer; as well as highlighting their best traditions ", said Estela Bravo, to then affirm that she has always wanted to be on the right side of history and cast her lot with the poor of the earth.
As part of celebrations for the 60th anniversary of Casa de las Américas, the Haydee Santamaría Medal will also be conferred on ten other personalities from the American continent, including the Chilean Isabel Parra, the Jamaican Keith Ellis and the Venezuelan Luis Britto García. Last May it was delivered to the American writer and activist Margaret Randall, in a ceremony held in the American city of Boston.