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Cuba: Marta Maria Ramirez-“You Can’t be a Half-Baked Feminist”

It’s a hot Thursday in Havana, the kind of day when you can’t find any shade to hide in. I walk with a certain haste. I’m late and the “temporary situation” isn’t exactly at fault. I refuse to arrive fifteen minutes later than the time that’s been agreed.

Here I am, back in Cuba for fifteen days after a whole year away. Two weeks doesn’t leave much free time: there’s seeing family, catching up with friends, getting paperwork sorted at 17 and K streets, doctor appointments… But no. I refuse to leave without meeting her. Marta Maria saved me, and she has to know.

I check my phone to remember what the number is of the building. I go inside and all the apartments look the same from their doors. I start walking up the stairs hoping for a sign, and then suddenly it appears: the only door, up until this point, with a poster in favor of same-sex marriage. “My family is original,” it reads.

I carefully knock and she opens the door, holding Nina in her arms. She’s just like she is in photos, but a little shorter. There she is, with her heart tattooed on her breast and without a bra. She hasn’t slept all night, but she still looks ready to fight.

I first heard about Marta Maria Ramirez (@Martamar77) when I was in the third year of my Social Communications degree at Havana University. Back then, Marta formed part of the campaign “Quiero hacer una pelicula” (QHUP), by independent designer and filmmaker Yimit Ramirez. Her role as the Community Manager made me follow her on social media and that’s where I came across her “Martazos”.

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