Yo, Habana - What Now?

CityX - Yo, Habana / 13th Havana Biennial 2019

In 2017, the Cuban Ministry of Culture invited Doris Graf to Havana to carry out ‘CityX – Yo, Habana’, the first part of the drawing activities, together with the people of Havana. As part of the activities, residents were asked to pictorially convey their personal ties to their city in the minimalist format of a drawing. All participants – children, teenagers and adults – enthusiastically contributed their drawings for the pictogram-based townscape. Common motifs included the Malecón, the Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro with its lighthouse, La Catedral de la Virgen María de la Concepción Inmaculada de la Habana, and El Capitolio. Many residents expressed their love for their city and pride for their homeland through the Cuban flag, which featured a number of times. There were also some critical submissions, such as the low income earned by most residents, and the gradual dilapidation of the city’s buildings.

Back home in Germany, artist Doris Graf spent the following months poring over the creative treasures she had collected. She analysed the images, categorised them, and translated them into pictogram-like motifs in a manner similar to the way they had been drawn by the people. The end result, i.e. the ‘CityX – Yo, Habana’ townscape in pictographic images , along with a selection of the drawings collected, was displayed at the invitation of the Cuban Ministry of Culture as part of the 13th Havana Biennial at the Frida Khalo Gallery, Casa de Cultura de centro de Habana from 26/4/2019 to 12/5/2019.

La Habana - What Now? - Drawing Performances

13th Havana Biennial 2019

From 12/04/2019 to 24/04/2019 the Stuttgart-based artist Doris Graf carried out again drawing activities with the visitors of the Bienniale and the citizens in various locations in the capital of Cuba. From 26/04/2019 until the end of the Biennale all newly collected images were on display together with the exhibition ‘CityX – Yo, Habana’ in the Frida Khalo Gallery, Casa de Cultura in the center of Havana.

Place: Frida Khalo Gallery, Casa de Cultura de Centro Habana, Calle Carlos III, esquina Castillejo, Havana, Cuba


Drawing Performance “La Habana - Que Ahora?” 13th Havana Bienniale 2019, Havanna, Cuba
Opening 13th Havana Bienniale 2019, Soloexhibition Gallery Frieda Kahlo, Havana, Cuba
Opening 13th Havana Bienniale 2019, Soloexhibition Gallery Frieda Kahlo, Havana, Cuba


Drawings “Yo, Habana - Que Ahora?”


“CityX - Yo, Habana”, 2017/18

Piktogramm "Cathedral"
Piktogramm "Dance and Music"
Dance and Music
Piktogramm "Habana Libre"
Habana Libre
Piktogramm "Tourist"
Piktogramm "Capitol"
Piktogramm "Dreams"
Piktogramm "El Morro"
El Morro
Piktogramm "Fall"
Piktogramm "Good Stuff"
Good Stuff
Piktogramm "I Love Havana"
I Love Havana
Piktogramm "Isolated - But With Good Friends"
Isolated - But With Good Friends
Piktogramm "IT Specialist"
IT Specialist
Piktogramm "Malecon"
Piktogramm "Old Town"
Old Town
Piktogramm "Piña Colada"
Piña Colada
Piktogramm "Happy Grandparents"
Happy Grandparents