Cuban Artist Luis Manuel Otero on Time’s 100 Most Influentual

Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara. File photo: Alexandre Meneghini / Reuters

HAVANA TIMES – Cuban artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara has appeared on Time’s recently published list, of its 100 Most Influential People in 2021. The list is made up of five categories: Pioneer, Leader, Titan, Artist and Icon, and it features people who have contributed to transforming the political and cultural climate around them. 

Otero appears among the top ten names, with Icon status at Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei’s recommendation, who describes him as a “symbol and a leader.”

Weiwei refers to the San Isidro Movement as “an influential group of artists and intellectuals who demand greater freedoms as anti-government protests spread across the country this summer.”

Otero has been held prisoner since July 11th, in a maximum-security prison in Guanajay, without a court hearing. There are rumors that he is currently sick with COVID-19. The Chinese artist said that “his [Otero’s] life, behavior and expression as a whole are so powerful that they can resist the aesthetic and ethical degeneration of authoritarianism.”

“Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara’s art, his unignorable fight for freedom of expression and his uncompromising stance against autocracy reveal the power of resistance,” he adds.

Luis Manuel has also been recognized as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International and now Ai Weiwei is highlighting his bravery in the tireless struggle he has initiated with his artivism: “Art needs courage, which he has repeatedly demonstrated. Its aesthetics need a solid philosophical background and a strong sense of ethics, and this, too, he has shown. It is through such struggles for free expression that art transcends the condition of banality and mediocracy.”


Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.

3 thoughts on “Cuban Artist Luis Manuel Otero on Time’s 100 Most Influentual

  • When I was a child in the UK, there were two childrens comics of significance. One was the ‘Beano’ and the other, which I read weekly, was the ‘Dandy’. The cover of the Dandy was a cartoon of Korky the Cat with a weekly tale of his activities. But another which was equally as amusing, was of ‘Desperate Dan’. Desperate Dan was dressed as a gunslinger, big chest, with a waistcoat, leather pants, and unshaven. Often when reading the contributions here in HT from Dan, I have a laugh to myself about that comic character in a make belief world!

  • What happen to Yoani ? Is her contract as media darling of the Capitalist press up ? I don’t bother to read Time, but if that list was for brave people trying to do the right thing, I sure hope there were some Honduran or Colombian activists working to protect their people from neoliberalism on it ? Manuelito’s risk to himself pales in comparison, big time. But he carries the message that Time – Warner wants people to hear.

  • Wow he deserves. He has risk his freedom and himself for democracy. But I can’t watch for the Nicks, Dan others trasnolchsdob leafy accusing bin to bu CIA AGENT Democracy is a beautiful thing nick

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