As Cuba is opening up, young graffiti artists climb up the walls of Havana to express their thoughts and feelings. Elly Park reports.
Havana's walls are talking. While graffiti is a common sight in urban centers around the world, it was a rare sight here in Cuba, one of the final communist countries. But that's slowly changing thanks to artists such as 27-year-old Yulier Rodriguez. His creations often have no mouth, representing his view that Cubans fear to express their true thoughts. SOUNDBITE: Cuban Graffiti Artist, Yulier Rodriguez, saying (Spanish) "In my work, you can find desperation, you can find frustration, you can find impotence, fear, pain, solitude-- because they exist. They are part of reality that exists in Cuban society." Twenty-eight-year-old Osmany Carratala draws "happy zombies" - symbolizing Cubans, traumatized by past poverty, becoming slaves of materialsm. The rise of young artists like Carratala shows the Cuban's urge for critical expression and the increasing influence of international culture. SOUNDBITE: Cuban Graffiti Artist, Osmany Carratala, saying (Spanish) "I've seen the change and that growth has been imminent. Young people who go out into the streets and start to paint because they feel a need to create art, the same need that I feel." And this irrepressible need turn these dilapidated walls into colorful canvases of social critique.