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Last February, a friend invited me to FAC, or La Fábrica de Arte Cubano, an old oil factory that’s now a thriving arts space in Vedado, one of Havana’s residential districts. The eclectic crowd was typical of Cuban arts centres: imagine London’s Ministry of Sound, Shoreditch House, Annabel’s and the World’s End in Camden rolled into one. For about £1.50 entry, I spent eight hours meeting people from all over the city. There’s an art and photographic gallery and a dance space, a cinema and a very well-stocked bar. I watched a fashion show and a live concert.

In one night you can catch some of the highest-profile Cuban artists of any discipline mixing it up with younger, talented, counterparts. X Alfonso, the man behind it, is one of Cuba’s most respected fusion musicians and based the place on similar venues he’d seen in Europe, mostly in Germany. He belongs to a very well-connected musical dynasty that has always championed new and daring ideas on the island. I am definitely going back during my next visit in December.
• Corner of Calle 26 and Calle 11, Vedado,

Ahmed Dickinson Cárdenas ( is a Cuban guitarist living in London

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