Under the auspices of Lisbon, Ibero-American Capital of Culture 2017, Galeria Zé dos Bois presents, between July 14 and September 23, 2017, the exhibition Cuban Posters of OSPAAAL 1960-1980: an opportunity to get an in-depth view of one of the most extraordinary graphic experiences of the last century. Composed of some hundred posters, magazines, and prototypes designed between 1966 and 1980, this exhibition traces a picture of the collective effort that various political forces in Africa, Asia and Latin America have developed to establish a common strategy of solidarity propaganda. With its artistic and productive center in Cuba, but adopting an internationalist stance since its foundation, OSPAAAL (Solidarity Organization for the Peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America) has devised a wide range of graphic materials that were intended to give voice and to galvanize the political factions that, in those continents, fought for the self-determination of the peoples against colonialism and other forms of exploration and segregation.
Organized thematically, this exhibition articulates images of political actors such as Che Guevara, Amilcar Cabral, Patrice Lumumba, Mehdi Ben Barka or Richard Nixon with illustrations supporting armed struggle, appeals to national pride, incentives to the revolt of the working classes or resistance to the imperialist rule of the United States. Benefiting from the openness of its leaders towards the postwar artistic avant-garde, the Cuban authors were able to make the graphic production of OSPAAAL a true platform for the encounter between a highly-politicized discourse and the most radical artistic proposals of the time. Cuban Posters of OSPAAAL 1960-1980 invites the public to discover a collection of materials that range between the condemnation of oppression and the praising of revolutionary feats and which is an invaluable document of the golden age of Cuban design and a clear example of the use of visual communication for equality and social change.
Alongside OSPAAAL’s internationalist action, Cuba has implemented a wide range of political organisms which had an internal and local inclination. In one of these organisms, based in Cienfuegos, worked Pepe de la Paz, a graphic artist whose production is the subject of a retrospective included in this exhibition.