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Book launch: «Kuba – Freiheit oder Terror: Ein Maler erlebt die Revolution» by Rudolf Häsler (1927 – 1999)

Swiss artist Rudolf Häsler escaped his homeland’s narrowness, the same way already many Swiss artists have done before he did. On one of his journeys across Europe he coincidentally fell in love with a Cuban, whom he got married shortly afterwards during a two-week honeymoon journey in Cuba.

Dia von Rudolf Häsler während seines Aufenthaltes in Kuba

Initially, the couple intended to remain merely two weeks in Cuba – eventually they stayed over a decade in the Caribbean insular state. It must have been Häsler’s fate to stumble across the revolutionary forces and to experience the enthusiasm of an entire nation, yearning for freedom and independence. Willing to contribute to the fulfilment of the revolutionary ideals, Häsler rapidly decided to participate in the Cuban Revolution. Shortly after the revolutionary forces gained victory, Rudolf Häsler was appointed director at the national department of arts and crafts. As a governmental member he was constrained to experience the government’s gradual totalitarian turn from a close distance. Because of his closeness to the political elite, his writing’s represent unique reports; they elaborately describe the political structures within the apparatus of state with an astonishing richness in details. 

Häsler wrote down what he witnessed in detail and thus, managed to create a very personal account of what he perceived and experienced during his 12 years on Cuba. The book constitutes a broad documentation about a historical event, written from a personal point of view. Therefor, it can be read either as a documentation of a crucial period in world history, or merely as an artist’s narrative about his personal experiences within a completely unexpected situation.

The reprintnig of the book «Kuba – Freiheit oder Terror: Ein Maler erlebt die Revolution» written by Swiss artist Rudolf Häsler (1927 – 1999) was bromer edition's first book launch. The book launch took place on April 8th at bromer kunst.

About artist
Rudolf Häsler
Interlaken, 1927 — 1999

Rudolf Häsler (29.7.1927, Interlaken - 18.1.1999, Sant Cugat del Vallès) has worked as a primary school teacher in Interlaken since 1947. At the same time, however, he took painting lessons and travelled throughout Europe. In 1952 he gave up teaching and devoted himself completely to art. Trips to the Sahara, Seville, Granada, Italy, Yugoslavia, and Andalusia followed. In 1956 he met María Dolores Soler in Granada. In 1957 he travels with her to Cuba to her hometown Santiago de Cuba and marries her there. Fascinated by the country, Häsler decided to stay in Cuba and started a family there.
In Cuba, Häsler experienced the climax of the Cuban Revolution, and he himself was enthusiastic about the atmosphere of change. He wanted to play an active role in this social change and joined a group of artists who were particularly dedicated to art on buildings. He also developed a concept for the establishment of a nationwide ceramics industry, which was approved by the government. Häsler was promoted to managing advisor in the newly founded National Institute of Decorative Arts and was made director in 1960. He is the second highest foreign deputy in the Cuban state after the Argentinean revolutionary hero Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the then Minister of Industry.