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A Cuba Scenario

By Kira Van den Ende

When it comes to Cuba, news sources are continuously filled with contradictions. They speak of continued restrictions on travelling and freedom of speech, occasional food shortages and rural poverty. Yet they also speak of city allotments, farmers selling directly to tourists and Yoaní Sanchez, who is leading the Cuban blogosphere into worldwide notoriety. Cultural magazines such as Slanted show that Havana is seeing a growth spurt of visual artists and that Cuba’s rich tradition of music is starting to outflow into the 21th century. Cuba is changing. But so is the rest of the world, in response to a protracted economical crisis. The time may well be right for the people from in- and outside Cuba to meet, to put together the knowledge they carry from different backgrounds.

The Plan

In the summer of 2013 I have an internship of three months planned at the editorial office of the university of Havana. The professor for which I will be working, Claudio Sotolongo Menendez, is a graphic designer with a great interest in sustainability. The internship has two goals. One is to learn how to professionally communicate in a setting that is completely different from that of my usual surroundings. The other one is to actively participate in a sustainable action or phenomenon.

The plan I have starts from the hypothesis that travellers coming to Cuba have a greater interest then sun and sea and sand alone; and that there are quite a few people within Cuba that are interested in social and ecological sustainibility. With help fromThe Nature Conservancy I would like to try to find the right approach to link these motivated travellers and locals, to create opportunities for not only sustainable, but constructive tourism.

Picture by John Barclay

Who I am My name is Kira. I was born and raised in Brussels, Belgium. To my mind, my life kick started when I broke loose after high school and travelled to Spain, South America and Turkey. After that I partially studied bio-science engineering and fashion technology. Currently I’m studying for a BA in Sustainable Communication in Copenhagen. This means that I divide my time between learning about the theory behind sociology, business and design, and executing a lot of practical communicative design assignments. I have a blog to which I occasionally upload my schoolwork:

& What I get out of this project Besides the enthusing feeling of undertaking a project that includes many of my great interests, doing a three months internship is part of my educational program. This project would be a great adition to my resume, and possibly a stepping stone towards an interesting job after my school career. On top of that, it would give me the occasion of travelling to a country that has always greatly fascinated me.

Picture by Alain Macias de Albear

What I ask of You •

Guidance and collaboration. You have experience in these matters, I do not. In return, I can give you access to all the results of my field work. The internship could be considered partially under your supervision, partially under that of the University of Havana.

Moral support.

Financial support. The work that I do for this internship will be unpaid, but I need help with travel and visum costs.

Sources, 01/12/2012, 01/12/2012, 01/12/2013 (This is the source of the picture on the front page. Unfortunately, it has been impossible to track it back to its rightful owner.), 01/12/2013, 01/12/2013, 01/12/2013, 01/12/2012, 01/17/2013

A Cuba Scenario  
A Cuba Scenario  

Internship Proposal