Freedom of Expression (03:44)
Salvador Gonzalez encounters an African-American man expressing anger about racism in Times Square. The man insults him; as an Afro-Cuban and a Chango priest, Gonzalez is confused. He puts on face paint and tells a narrative about slaves retaining art, music, and magic in Cuba.
Cuban Artist in New York (03:56)
Gonzalez works on a canvas and explains his creative process. An artist friend recalls meeting Gonzalez and his wife.
Cayo Hueso (02:58)
Gonzalez's wife describes their courtship. Gonzalez discusses his mural masterpiece in Hamel's Alley. Visit his home in Central Havana.
Painting Hamel's Alley (02:57)
Gonzalez describes his methods of cleaning up garbage while working on his mural. Cayo Hueso residents discuss how it's brightened the neighborhood. Gonzalez holds musical gatherings at his gallery space
A group of dancers performs at Gonzalez's gallery in Cayo Hueso. View his murals and Orisha shrines.
Afro-Cuban Music (03:34)
Gonzalez works in his Cayo Hueso gallery. An expert discusses the origins of Rumba as the Yambu in the 19th century. Dancers perform to the slower rhythm.
Rumba Evolution (02:53)
An expert discusses how the Rumba became faster as it developed. Dancers perform to the Guaguanco and the Conga.
Yoruba Culture (03:36)
Gonzalez explains Yoruban views on life. African slaves worshiped the Orishas, rather than converting to Catholicism. Fraternal societies developed to preserve the Yoruba, Congo and Carabali practices; rituals remain strong today in Cuba.
Yoruba Ceremony (03:32)
Gonzalez leads a ritual to Saint Lazaro. Participants sing and play drums; he passes out cigars and alcohol.
Afro-Cuban Priest (02:38)
Gonzalez explains he is an initiate of Orisha, the Yoruba religion transplanted to Cuba. He shares music with an African-American friend while working on a painting.
Afro-Cuban Shrine (02:17)
Gonzalez's most popular Hamel Alley work is a Palo Monte inspired shrine. Figures represent Congo gods brought to Cuba by slaves; a local woman makes an offering. A man restores Gonzalez' murals with better quality paints.
Search for Materials (04:05)
Gonzalez drives around Havana looking for resources to create a dramatic work. He explains that Santeria is a fusion of Catholic saints and Orishas, and identifies gods of the forest and nature while cutting vines.
Dramatic Art (02:59)
Gonzalez works with dancers and folkloric groups for his performance pieces dedicated to the Orishas. View a ceremony.
Resourceful Artist (02:28)
Gonzalez uses recycled materials for his Hamel's Alley sculptures. He finds a tank at a Havana landfill for a new piece.
Afro-Cuban Art and Music Friendship (02:37)
Gonzalez introduces Tata Guines, a world class conga player. Tito jams while Gonzalez works on a drum inspired painting at his gallery.
Santera Custom (03:17)
Tata Guines' wife shares her ritual for saying goodbye to Orishas when she leaves home. She comes from a family that practices the Yoruba religion. She travels to Hamel's Alley to attend a Bembe for Chango.
Tata Guines' wife arrives at Hamel's Alley and greets Gonzalez at Chango's shrine in a Santeria ritual. Guests start dancing. A woman is overwhelmed and takes a break. Afterwards, a woman discusses healing powers of the Orishas and of dancing.
Temple to Black Culture (05:23)
Salvador dedicates his Havana work to Afro-Cubans and African-Americans. He welcomes Enrique Molina to Hamel's Alley. Molina thanks him for his contribution to Afro-Cuban culture. Musicians play a rumba and guests dance.
Butterfly Mural (03:33)
Salvador finishes an American commission and starts a new project on a Philadelphia building. View the dedication ceremony. A Cuban friend says there are no gatherings while he's away.
Passengers for Peace Project (03:30)
In Philadelphia, Gonzalez paints a mural on a school bus delivering aid to Cuba. A participant explains she's converted to the Yoruba religion.
Lost in Translation (03:57)
Gonzalez visits his friend Henry in New York, who jokes that his dog ate Gonzalez's canvas. Henry wants to sell it to a museum for $80,000; Gonzales doesn't understand his English.
Embracing Diversity (02:01)
Gonzalez recalls an encounter with an angry African-American man in Times Square. At a Cayo Hueso celebration, he tells friends and performers that we are all humans in the eyes of the universe.
Credits: A Cuban Legend: The story of Artist Salvador Gonzalez (03:22)
Credits: A Cuban Legend: The story of Artist Salvador Gonzalez
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