Matanzas, Cuba: Ediciones Vigía, 2013. Balboa, Diana. Octavo. 59pp. One of 200 copies. Nancy Balboa’s illustrations celebrate Cuba’s agriculture, and draw a parallel between its grassroots rural life and its heritage of grassroots revolution. Martí, considered by many the “patron saint” of Cuba, was at the forefront of such organic, popular activism throughout the late 19th century as he called for Cuba’s independence from Spain. Rodríguez’s historical essay reflects on Martí’s Manifiesto de Montecristi and his Revolutionary Party, and their lasting impact on Cuba. The essay by Pedro Pablo Rodríguez first appears in Spanish, then in English, with illustrated recycled paper as dividers. Book designed by Elizabeth Valero.
Ediciones Vigía is a longstanding literary and artistic mainstay of Cuban book arts, known for using throwaway or inexpensive materials to create beautiful works. It thus reflects the resourcefulness and hope of Cuban citizens broadly, who have adopted those characteristics to survive, and thrive, through years of hardship. Bound in stiff wrappers, from one corner of which can be pulled a banner reading “Martí Cuban Revolutionary Party.” Enclosed in a belly band designed to look like a cigar label, with a portrait of Martí. Some creasing to folder, else near fine. Item #30300