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A defector from Cuba during "The Special Period," Marcel Fuentes found himself precariously planted at the hub of "The New South" -- Atlanta, GA circa 1994. He quickly began a dissertation on the fall of the soviet bloc and its effects on Cuban economy and day-to-day life, along with the artists' life in contemporary Cuba. His caricature was to be called The Cortina Papers. From a place inside the Cuban government, with their own version of "The Neighborhood Watch," he was able to effectively find himself an accomplice across the gulf. And, a woman sharing in his political struggles.
Clarice Gillenhall, aka Netochka Georgievna, was at 11 years old one of the youngest socialists to emerge from The Lenin School of Art. Her peers had seen the anguish of the older generation and quickly turned from any alignment with the old-guard. From 11-17, before fleeing to America, she was involved with an innovative group of artists and agitators.
Early in 1991, a group of artists from Southern Russia, joined by Konstantin Reunov and Oleg Tistol, gathered in a big squat in an old house that was due to be reconstructed. In the autumn of the same year they decided to arrange a small alternative gallery in the uninhabited attic. For two years, every Thursday, they held an exhibition or an action on these small premises. Simplicity was the only requirement for a display, as the gallery had no sponsors and did not engage in commercial activity. Nonetheless, the Tryokhprudny Gallery turned out to be the most radical and effective exhibition hall in Moscow. (pp. 85-86; Between the Utopias: New Russian Art During and After Perestroika [1985-1993] , Andrei Hovalev)
Feelings of confinement and the trappings of such community left Clarice alienated and led her to working nightclubs in Tribeca, NYC. Here, on her 18th birthday, in this intense foray and dense populous she met Maxim Galway and promptly introduced him to a transient expatriate named Marcel Fuentes. Taking an interest in The Cortina Papers Maxim injected his own polemic into the post-USSR dialect of his new comrades, and devised plans for funding what would become a magazine -- The Cortina Papers. Serially tracking the underbelly of this mysterious Caribbean country, from the Sierra Maestras to Havana, the template for change in his own native land would be drawn and distributed, by subscription only, to the top intellectuals of Clinton-era USA.
Six years later The Cortina Papers is still quite unknown as the original plan suggested it be, yet stands at the forefront of progressive thought in our time. But, its desire to remain within US borders was botched by one Joseph Peters. A mild success in Britain's upper middle-class literary society Mr. Peters intercepted a copy of the magazine and grew an unprecedented obsession with its creators. His ensuing crisis with the underground North American counterrevolutionaries, and his detection of the safekeepers of the editor's identities, Richard Brock and Anselm H. Mariner, led him to his present state of murderous hysteria.
Though the American Press pretend to know the story behind these celebrated but elusive visionaries they could never be further from discovering the truth of their own nation as it reflects in the eyes of these individuals; or at what cost that nation could be free were it not for DC's own adversaries.
Jon Leon continues the big melodrama which he calls- Life Without Consequence.