“We have to get to know each other better, it makes us understand one another better, trust each other more, and live together more peacefully”
– Motto for the United Buddy Bears, an international art exhibition promoting peace among nations.
We were very fortunate to be in Cuba when the United Buddy Bears were being displayed at the San Francisco de Asis Plaza in Havana. The brightly painted fiberglass bears represent the over 140 countries recognized by the United Nations and are designed to promote peace, tolerance, and international understanding. They stand hand to hand to represent the people, culture, history, and landscape of the different countries, not the political systems.
The design on each bear was created by an artist from the individual countries and, no matter how large or small, or rich or poor each country is, they have the same size bear and are equal in standing. It was interesting to see how the various artists choose to represent their country – many were quite beautiful, some (including Cuba’s) were a little humorous, and others inspiring. All were fascinating.
The bears were first exhibited in Berlin in 2002/2003, before moving on to Austria in 2004. They have now been shown in over 23 countries, including Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Egypt, Israel, Argentina, and India.
In March, the United Buddy Bears leave Cuba for their next destination, Santiago de Chile. I tried to determine if they were scheduled for a stop in the United States, but was unable to find anything. I hope they will not only be displayed here, but will also be embraced with the same generous, open-hearted spirit they have found elsewhere.
10 thoughts on “Bears Sighted in Cuba”
Great photos, Janis! I have never heard of these bears, so cool to see these!
I hadn’t heard of them either – it was just luck that they were in Havana when we were there. It would be great if they came to the US too.
What a wonderful concept. I too hope they come to the USA.
It was so interesting to see how each country chose to represent themselves. I just loved the Cuban one!
I love da Bears. Nice idea.
Isn’t that a great idea?! Certainly brightly colored bears aren’t going to bring about world peace but they do bring people together in enjoyment.
Wow! I never heard of the Buddy Bears before. Who knew you had to go to Cuba to find them? Thanks for the photos!
I thought it was pretty interesting that they were in Cuba and had never been to the U.S. This embargo has gone on way too long and the world is moving on with or without us.
Dear All, it is just great to see that you all loved the United Buddy Bear exhibition in Havana. We’ve often been aksed why this amazing preject has visited 28 major cities on all 5 continents, but has never been displayed in the USA. It’s quite simple to answer: We solely follow invitations, which we permanently get, but surprisingly never from a big city in the USA. More Info under http://www.buddy-bear.com
BUDDY BEAR BERLIN
Thank you for clearing up the mystery! It is hard to understand but, sadly, not hard to believe why the Buddy Bears haven’t been invited to the US. I don’t know how anyone could see their message as controversial, but I imagine there would be some who would. I think that I will contact my local and national representatives to see if an exhibition would be possible.
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