HAVANA TIMES – On June 3rd at the headquarters of the Hannah Arendt International Institute of Artivism (Instar) in Havana, artist Tania Bruguera received a visit from a group made up of about fifteen people who warned her of the consequences of continuing with her activities and demands. At the head of the collective was a woman who presented the others as “community factors” [i.e. disciplinarians] and told the artist that she has to quit “with the little game” and “the counterrevolution.”
“We have to tell you that it has to end with the ’savage’ horde and the counterrevolution you have here. We are waiting for one of you to come out to face us, but since you don’t have the courage, quit with this here and now,” the woman said excitedly.
“All of you are worms [gusanos], fine,” she continued. “We here in the community are not going to allow, not from you or anyone else, this disaster that you are creating here.” The leader of the group described those present as “revolutionary troops” and maintained that they will not consent to any act of the “counterrevolution” because in this community “there are women and men that can ’make waves’ [be brave],” she added.
Bruguera told 14ymedio that the group arrived at her house without even knowing what Instar is and believes that what happened was more than an act of repudiation. “It was an alert… something very strange, a threat,” said the artist.
“It is evident that whose who gave them an order didn’t prepare them. It seemed like a rushed and poorly prepared event. What was clear is that there were people willing to strike out and who wanted confrontation. Their objective was to provoke, but in Instar our philosophy is that violence it is eliminated with civic education,” said the artist.
Instar denounced what happened in a statement published on social networks in which it specified that the intention of the group was to speak with Tania Bruguera, but thatat that moment the artist was in a work meeting.
“It is common for neighbors of our headquarters and other Cuban citizens to contact us for matters related to the neighborhood or personal situations. However, this number of people has never come together, they have always identified themselves with their names and the matter to be discussed, and, above all, they have never filmed us from the opposite sidewalk, as happened in this case and is recorded in the attached video,” the note states.
In the recording you can see the visual artist Camila Lobon, one of the coordinators of the space, greet the group through a grating. Lobón asks that they identify themselves as she does not recognize them as neighbors of the neighborhood. “Only then did they say, without further details, they were ’from the community of the Cathedral’, where our institute is located,” the post clarifies. When Lobon realizes that there is a person filming from the sidewalk in front, she also begins to record the second part of the conversation.
“It is obvious that these are acts planned by the Government, they don’t arise spontaneously or from the conscience of the citizens. The woman who launches the threats initially confuses Aminta D’Cárdenas, one of our coordinators, with Tania. Then she rectifies it can calls her ’ringleader’,” the post says.
According to Instar, none of the residents of the neighborhood participated in this act and greeted the members of the institute “kindly” when they left the headquarters minutes later.
Last week, the presenter Humberto Lopez once again dedicated one of his TV programs to Bruguera, 27 N, and other activists, accusing them of having ties to the government of the United States and receiving financing from that country.