Cuban Artist Yulier P Defies Order to Erase His Murals

Yanelys Nunez Leyva

Yulier P and one of his works.

HAVANA TIMES — The seven-day limit that Cuban police gave artist Yulier P to erase his graffitis are up and even though he refused to do this, he still hasn’t been arrested.

Since 2014, Yulier has been one of the graffiti artists who has been taking over Havana with his paintings with greater intensity, even in the city’s most remote places.

Normally, his monsters spread out across wide wall spaces, sometimes just a line, other times, the figure and background are completely covered with vinyl, printing ink, or whatever he gets a hold of.

Even though he has been caught in the act by the Police on other occasions, it wasn’t up until now, when he was arrested on August 17th, that they demanded he erase everything he had ever made, for committing the crime of “vandalizing social property”, under penalty of returning to prison if he doesn’t do this.

Other graffiti artists have also been arrested in the middle of their underground work, however, they have always come out of it with a 200 or 500 Cuban peso fines. Although there are other examples that are similar to that of Yuly, like that of 2+2=5, who was also pressured to erase his work.

Yulier P

(I can’t leave out the case of El Sexto, who was at a disadvantage when compared to the rest of his colleagues, when he lived in Cuba, because of his work as an activist and his belligerant stance. If the government never had mercy on him – in the sense of letting him just pay a fine and walking away – he was always treated like a political dissident).

Going back to Yulier’s case, I believe that what has stopped the government from taking action has been the whole media campaign that has been created about this subject. Amnesty International, independent newspapers and social networks express concern about his immediate future.

Yuly hasn’t stopped being afraid though, while media pressure is being quite decisive and important in this case, he knows that he can still be arrested if they want.

Yanelys Nuñez

Yanelys Nuñez Leyva: Writing is to expose oneself, undress before the inquisitive eyes of all. I like to write, not because I have developed a real fondness for nudity, but because I love composing words, thinking of stories, phrases that touch, images that provoke different feelings. Here I have a place to talk about art, life, me. In the end, feeling good about what you do is what matters; either with or without clothing.

3 thoughts on “Cuban Artist Yulier P Defies Order to Erase His Murals

  • The charges remind me too much of people here in the USA complaining about ‘vandalism” without seeking to differentiate between destruction and art. Strange that the authorities in Cuba would buy into the same logic as the power elite in the USA.

  • thonking

  • One can’t help laughing at the memory of El Sexto releasing those two fat pigs in Havana with the names Fidel and Raul painted on them.
    Politicians in the free world are subjected to cartoons virtually on a daily basis. One of my relatives built up quite a collection of originals, and laughed at all of them. But the Castros lack the necessary sense of humour to laugh at themselves, although they are ideal subjects for jokes and innuendo.
    Humour is contrary to communist thought unless it is directed at ones political opponents. As non-communists cannot be published in Cuba, how else can they express their views other than by graffiti?

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