Vladimir Alexander Smith-Mesa (Havana 1966) began his university studies in Russia and finished them at the University of Havana, graduating in Information and Library Science in 1995. From 1989 until 1996, he worked for the Oficina del Historiador de la Ciudad de la Habana. He was in charge of the Alfonso Reyes Library in the Historic Centre of the City. Later, he was the Research Librarian for the Cuban American Library (Museum Palacio de los Capitanes Generales). Since 1997, he has lived in London. He worked for Canning House, the home of the Hispanic & Luso-Brazilian Council, a non-political, non-profit making organization that was founded in 1943 to stimulate understanding between Britain, Spain, Portugal and Latin America. He is the founder of the British-Cuban Heritage Trust for the Arts. He currently works as a cataloguer for the UCL-School of Slavonic and East European Studies Library. https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/staff/staff-news/August/10082016-spotlightonVladimirSmithMesa
Vladimir Alexander Smith-Mesa holds a doctorate from University College London. In 2011, his Ph.D. thesis: KinoCuban, the significance of Soviet and East European cinemas for the Cuban moving image, appeared in UCL Discovery (http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1336532/). His most recent paper: Slovo Cubano: The Soviet Word in the Spanish of Cuba was published by Universitat de València, in Kamchatka. Revista de análisis cultural (2015). Please see: https://ojs.uv.es/index.php/kamchatka/article/view/4610
Dr Smith-Mesa has presented several talks on the moving image, Latin American Arts, Soviet & East European cinemas in different academic and cultural institutions such as la Academia de Ciencias in Cuba, La Capilla Alfonsina (Mexico City), Universidad de Guadalajara (Mexico), University of Connecticut (United States), Canning House (London), British universities, Ibero-American Centre (IAC) at Metropolitan University Prague, the SIAS Center for Ibero-American Studies of the Faculty of Arts, Charles University Prague. http://www.mup.cz/kalendar/antes-de-la-primavera-la-nueva-ola-checoslovaca/. He has been the curator of various retrospectives of Cuban cinema in UK. He has collaborated with the Latin American Film Festival in London, Barbican Centre, the British Film Institute, the BFI South Bank and the Discovering Latin America Film Festival. Dr. Smith-Mesa contributed to the documentary Soy Cuba: The Siberian Mammoth. He is the founder of The British-Cuban Heritage Trust for the Arts and the UCL Festival of the Moving Image (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0811/08111704 ).
In order to conclude his project: Making Our America Visible. J.M. Cohen (1903-1989): El Transculturador; a bibliography dedicated to Professor Isabel de Madariaga (based on the Cohen Collection, Old Library, Queens’ College, Cambridge University) Dr Smith-Mesa was invited by EL Colegio de México for a month research study in 2016, https://aclaiirblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/making-our-america-visible-j-m-cohen-1903-1989-el-transculturador/
In 2016, his project The Other & the Moving Image received a grant from the UCL Connected Curriculum Liberating the Curriculum (LTC) He is currently curating this project supported by UCL Americas, UCL MA Film Studies and UCL MA African Studies. This is a series of film retrospectives and talks on how the moving image helps to visualize otherness. https://www.ucl.ac.uk/teaching-learning/connected-curriculum/liberating-curriculum
Dr. Smith-Mesa is a member of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society, of the Advisory Council on Latin American & Iberian Information Resources (ACLAIIR), of the Council for Slavonic and East European Library and Information Services (COSEELIS). He is also a current member of the International Dostoevsky Society. In May 2016, he has been awarded the prestigious Likhachev Fellowship, which is dedicated to Russian arts and culture for his curation of the project: Dostoevsky Day UK, which will take place on 11 November 2016 (on the anniversary of Dostoevsky’s birth). The event will mark 150th anniversary of the novel Crime and Punishment. https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ssees/ssees-news-publication/likhachev-fellow-smithmesa https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ssees/ssees-events-publication/dostoevsky-day