OMNI Asks for Help

Dmitri Prieto

Members and friends of OMNI.

The non-government Cuban art project OMNI-Zona Franca ([email protected]) has issued a call for solidary assistance.

Under the slogan “If two people see and recognize each other, the world changes,” the group has circulated an email asking for participation, grass roots assistance, financial support and friendship for the holding of this year’s Festival Poesia Sin Fin (Endless poetry festival).

According to sources associated with the project, the festival is scheduled to begin on December 15. For the first time, members of OMNI-Zona Franca will be attempting to carry out the event in a decentralized fashion, according to several public communiqués they have circulated.

In these announcements, they affirmed “material and spiritual support from all of our friends is necessary for realizing this festival of freedom in Cuba and beyond.”

The work of the group OMNI-Zona Franca has generated some controversy because of the density of their aesthetic performances, poetry readings and other actions in which they often use unusual ways of communicating their artistic experience. Likewise, their ties to figures considered dissidents or opposition have brought attention to the group.

OMNI-Zona Franca describes its ideological foundation as being reflected by the triple slogan “Inner peace is our joy, friendship is our power; world art is our language.”

Previously based at a facility of the Culture Center in Alamar (East Havana), the group was forced to evacuate the premises in 2009 due to a decision by culture officials.




Dimitri Prieto-Samsonov

Dmitri Prieto-Samsonov: I define myself as being either Cuban-Russian or Russian-Cuban, indiscriminately. I was born in Moscow in 1972 of a Russian mother and a Cuban father. I lived in the USSR until I was 13, although I was already familiar with Cuba-- where we would take our vacation almost every year. I currently live on the fifth floor of an apartment building in Santa Cruz del Norte, near the sea. I’ve studied biochemistry and law in Havana and anthropology in London. I’ve written about molecular biology, philosophy and anarchism, although I enjoy reading more than writing. I am currently teaching in the Agrarian University of Havana. I believe in God and in the possibility of a free society. Together with other people, that’s what we’re into: breaking down walls and routines.

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