David D'Omni

* 1984

  • “In the Cuban Pre-University education, they were work camps, and from my point of view, it was government business. We had classes in the mornings, and in the afternoons, we had to work, pick potatoes, pick products that the government exported, and made money with that, and it was a mixture between class and work, and as we lived there, it was also like a prison. There were men's houses, women's houses, we had a head of the house and that kind of thing, and what we lived there was like a prison. People know that the Cuban schools with pre-university education were full of suicides; many young people committed suicide. We know about stabbings and about deaths. All Cubans know that that was the reality.”

  • “I'm looking at my parents and all the parents of my generation who studied in Cuban schools. They are chemical engineers, but now they are selling peanuts. Or they are engineers, or are doctors, or are people like that who have studied. Many of them with careers as nuclear physicists and things like that, now they are driving a bicitaxi [three-wheeled vehicle] in Havana, going through thousands of jobs. And I see that it's not worth studying for a university career in Cuba because having a diploma is useless anywhere in the world. Then you travel to another country, and you have to revalidate your qualification, or you have to study again. In other words, I preferred to educate myself at my rhythm and in my way and improve my knowledge. You can say that I have read a lot and studied a lot, but I don't have a degree or anything like that because I'm not interested in a Cuban academic degree.”

  • “Of course, the teaching in Cuba is very indoctrinating. Ever since I was a child, I always realized that if I spoke well of the Revolution or supported all this communist ideology of the Communist Party of Cuba that they taught in the schools, I advanced a little more than the others. I have always noticed that since I was a child. Also, flattering the figure of Fidel Castro was like a good thing, to advance more than the others.”

  • “Cuba is a strange country. When you talk about millennials, and those kinds of names given to different generations, generation Z, the I don't know what. Cuba is a country where people of my age can't be considered millennials even though we were born in the 80s [1980s] because it took years from when the mobile phone was invented until a Cuban was allowed to use a mobile phone. In other words, our relationship with reality is a different kind of generation. I remember my preschool [kindergarten] teachers hit me and slapped me in the face very hard. It was a time when teachers still hit you and punished you and kneeled you in the blackboard corner. I had teachers like that, old, experienced teachers, the kind who teaches you the hard way and, of course, you don't forget the knowledge they teach you.”

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    Cuba, 27.04.2021

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I have already overthrown that dictatorship. They don’t represent me in any way.

David D'Omni, 2021
David D'Omni, 2021
photo: Post Bellum

David Escalona Carrillo, commonly known as David D’Omni, was born in Havana, specifically in the district of El Vedado, in the Ramón González Coro hospital, at one o’clock in the morning on the 3rd of March 1984. His mother, Esperanza Soilet Carrillo Cardoso, and father, Norberto Escalona Rodríguez, always educated him about universal art, making David grow up as a child eager to learn about general knowledge. After completing all the Cuban primary education, he dropped out of school. He joined the multidisciplinary art collective Omni Zona Franca in 2000, in which he has developed as a musician, painter, and workshop artist, among other functions. The Cuban dictatorship has persecuted him and his family in various ways for the simple fact of making independent art. He currently lives in Cuba and works in his recording studio.