When Vistar was born, Robin Pedraja didn’t quite know what he was getting into, but he bet it all on the idea, and next year the magazine celebrates its fifth anniversary. His biggest challenge now is not how to position himself, but how to maintain the responsibility of being the leader in this industry.
Beyond being the first magazine of entertainment, or the first independent magazine of Cuban culture, Vistar has several beats. The magazine has given the people a lot to talk about; it went from being an almost clandestine publication to being a brand that has been a sponsor in film shows and music festivals. There was even an exhibition under the name "Vista gives faith" in the Figueroa-Vives Studio.
Vistar first arrived in 2014 through El Paquete Semanal (Weekly Packet), an underground distribution channel that was quite new at the time. Today the magazine is still distributed through El Paquete, and is in fact one of its most consumed sections.
The magazine has detractors, mainly because to some the term “show business” seems superficial, but surely many of these detractors use the publication to see what’s happening.
Over the years, Robin has wanted to give the magazine a more generic profile, but one of Vistar’s most distinctive features is its unique appearance, the result of meticulous graphic design work that for a long time was led by Gabriel Lara.
The magazine has been a pioneer in advertising, and has given readers the chance to learn more about their artists, and given artists the chance to reach their fans more directly. In addition, it has proposed to speak reggaeton without prejudice. What began as a random idea—a nearly impossible one—today is a magazine with 54 published issues.
The best part about Robin as the creative director is not what he has already achieved, but that he is very clear about everything he wants to accomplish. This boy is only 30 years old and when he founded the magazine it was him and "a group of kids in their early 20s".
As Robin himself explains, the magazine is varied because it is the reflection of a generation that is in favor of change and that has a new way of thinking about and seeing things.
One of its main obstacles has been the difficulty of accessing the internet, and although this has improved slightly, it is still a challenge. Another problem is the rather confusing legal margin in which the magazines circulating in the El Paquete live. And, in the case of Vistar, it remains a dream to have the magazine printed. But Robin is definitely a dreamer. He sees the future of his magazine in colors and is convinced that while others complain, he advances. Actually, Cuba needed a magazine like Vistar to emerge, and that magazine needed a Robin.
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