Dale Lengua / Give Me Tongue
Dale Lengua, a recent poster exhibition in Havana, curated by Camila Mesa and Yenela Miranda, focuses on the unique way Spanish is spoken in Cuba. Graphic artists were asked to illustrate current Cuban slang words and expressions.
“Language is a living system that carries history and evolution. It could be said that it’s the DNA of a nation,” says Yenela Miranda. “The intention of the project was to make a sample of some of the most popular Cubanisms today.”
For example, in Cuba, “bullets mean money, as in if you don’t have bullets, you don’t have weight,” explains Miranda. See Gabo’s Los Balas poster.
“Chao Pescao (fish)” is a nice rhyming way to say goodbye. “It’s said in other Latin American countries,” says Miranda, “but in Cuba we add ‘and around mince meat,’ making it more picaresque.” Michele Miyares Hollands ironically depicts the phrase by showing a Cuban food ration card.
Carlos Peza’s “Bajanda” is based on a term popularized in a Reggaeton song, meaning to get “out of here!”