Cuban Artist Hopes to Hold Performance at Havana’s Revolution Square

“Yo También Exijo” (I also make my demands)

By Tracey Eaton

tania-brugueraHAVANA TIMES – Cuban artist Tania Bruguera has invited Cubans to gather Tuesday December 30th at the Plaza de la Revolución in Havana to speak before an open microphone (See press release).

Bruguera, born in Havana in 1968, is a performance and installation artist. One novel past performance involved her covering herself in raw meat.

In 2009, she staged an open microphone event in Havana during the annual International Book Fair that angered Cuban officials. Speakers at that event included blogger Yoani Sanchez.

Editors Note: As of Monday, Bruguera has not been issued a permit to hold the performance and cultural authorities have discouraged her saying it could have negative repercussions for Cuba and her personally.

Below is Bruguera’s letter explaining what she hopes accomplish on Tuesday December 30th:

Dear Cubans,

Following the news of December 17th that stirred our Nation, I sent a letter to the Cuban newspaper, Granma (which, of course, was not published). After its publication by other press media, a group of Cuban citizens with no party affiliation reacted to a phrase in this letter that calls all Cubans to gather next December 30th at La Plaza to speak out at an open microphone.

They have created the platform #YoTambienExijo ( to which they have invited me, and so far, it has added more 1000 persons with the common purpose of making real what was kind of a metaphor in my letter or maybe an unconscious desire that slipped out of my mind due to that day’s commotion.

The idea is to get together at La Plaza on December the 30th at 15:00 in order to speak and discuss peacefully about what concerns us in these days, to be there and let others know of what we think and our reasons for it, in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect.

Let there be diversity of opinions and topics so we can discuss and talk among us all. We do not have any kind of agenda nor follow any particular ideology; we just want people to come, those that have not found a space to share their doubts or experiences, and those that felt they were not represented by the alternative spaces already open.

Let’s all come: housewives, self-employed persons, movie makers, mechanics, taxi drivers, managers, sex workers, students, marginalized persons, teachers, retired persons, farmers, blue collar workers, in fact all; let’s get together and think about what is the concept of nation that we want to build and put into practice. We are not going to celebrate the potential ending of the embargo; we want to celebrate the birth of our rights. On that day we are not going to claim our rights, instead we are going to exercise our rights.

It would be great to interact with you on that day at La Plaza, as a direct referent to a work I did at the 2009 Bienal de la Habana, where I set a microphone that was used by those who stood for the Revolution, those who criticized it, those who couldn’t understand our reality, those who were afraid, and those who tried to vocalize their right to express their ideas.

It would be an honor to have you there. See you on December 30th at La Plaza. A different Plaza, our Plaza.

Tania Bruguera
Yo También Exijo

7 thoughts on “Cuban Artist Hopes to Hold Performance at Havana’s Revolution Square

  • Come out of the closet Dan. Admit it, you sound like you support repression and beatings and arrests so long as the country doing it can justify it by saying they have an enemy. What has freedom and democracy done to you to make you so bitter?

  • US hypocrisy about free speech? I guess you just be referring to the total lack of any anti-government protests in the USA, the absence of critical media, the complete silencing of American dissidents and the criminalization of any criticism of President Obama.

    You could use some perspective, Dan. The USA is far from perfect, but they do enjoy a robust freedom of speech. Cuba ranks among the ten worst counties in the world for press freedoms.

  • Moses wrote, “P.S. Performance artist Tania Bruguera is said the be the daughter of a Cuban Foreign Ministry official stationed in Paris, France.”

    You see? Dan was right: clearly she’s an agent of the CIA!!!

  • Has the US government renounced it’s intention, expressed clearly millions of times since 1959 to effect “regime change” in Cuba, overtly, covertly, and by any means necessary ? Is the blockade still in place, with all its effects upon living standards ?
    Is there any chance that Bruguera’s little show is part of a plan for one of Washington’s color revolutions ? Has/does the US goverment attempt to subvert governments with which it has diplomatic relations ? I think that until it is clear that the US is willing to back off and allow Cuba to breathe, there will be legitimate reasons why Cuba should not allow this kind of thing. I won’t even get in to the hypocrisy of criticism from the US about free speech.

  • The verdict is in and yes there were arrests during this event. I was about to comment how I thought Moses was wrong but sadly he was 100% correct.
    I differ with Moses often but he was spot on in recognizing this would happen.
    Cuba has a long way to go….

  • We all know what happened. Cuban officials have demonstrated once again their lack of imagination.

  • If the Castros were smart they would flood the event with pro-Castro mouthpieces and let the event take place as scheduled. For every pro-democracy speaker, the Castros could stack the deck with 5 regime shills to attempt to balance out the impact of…wait for it….free speech. Just about every day, inclement weather days included, there is someone out in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC bellowing anti-US, anti-Obama blather. So what? Instead, given Castro paranoia, I would not be surprised to see a bunch of those olive green MININT trucks and cars loaded with guys in plaid shirts dispatched to arrest and beat this poor girl and anyone else who dares to express a personal opinion that disagrees with the crap the regime puts out. Let the Castro bootlickers here at HT weigh in. What real harm does a girl with a microphone pose to the noble Castro revolution. What are these guys afraid of?

    P.S. Performance artist Tania Bruguera is said the be the daughter of a Cuban Foreign Ministry official stationed in Paris, France. Let’s hope this helps to soften the beating Cuban secret police are going to give her.

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