Léelo en Español aquí.
The neighborhood of San Isidro in Old Havana was one of the most famous "zones of tolerance" of the Cuban capital during the first half of the last century. And when we say "zone of tolerance" we actually use a well-elaborated euphemism to refer to one of the nerve centers for prostitution in Cuba in the first decade of the 20th century. So much so, that was where Yarini, the most famous Cuban pimp in history, lived and died.
But with the Revolution Triumph, the bars and brothels in the area were yielding their space to hundreds of homes that quickly became thousands. Suddenly, San Isidro became one of the most populous slums of Havana . And so on until today.
In the middle of this context arose in September, 2016, in a demolished building where there was a bakery that supplied more than 7000 people, the Galería Taller Gorría (GTG), a community cultural project created by the famous Cuban actor Jorge Perugorría, who left the management of this private entrepreneurship in San Isidro Street between Picota and Compostela in the hands of his son Adán.
In just two years GTG has become one of the most attractive and innovative cultural centers in Old Havana.
San Isidro is one of the less privileged areas in the plan of restoration of the Office of the Historian of Havana, for being far away from the center of the Historic District of Havana, and for not having large architectural structures with high cultural or historical value. That is why one of the main aims of the project is to attract the attention of artists from all over the world who are interested in building their studios in San Isidro, to turn the neighborhood into an “art district” where street art can converge with all kinds of artistic manifestations.
"The idea is to turn San Isidro into a SoHo of contemporary art. That people can walk and see art on the street", explains Adam.
A very ambitious project that does not end there. Adam and his father are also planning to build a theater, a library, and other spaces that will make GTG an inclusive cultural project with a positive impact on the neighboring community.
In the upper part of the gallery, a restaurant and a hostel are currently being built, which will be curated by new artists who have not had the chance to participate in exhibitions.
GTG is the center of Adán Perugorría’s life, who is just over twenty years old and already has the responsibility of managing a family gallery, one of the most prestigious and ambitious in the city. Another young man, who like Cimafunk, Claudia Calviño and Cristina Figueroa, is behind a gigantic project and is proud to be in Havana.