Cuba: #FreeTaniaBrughuera

Posted April 13th, 2015 at 4:39 pm (UTC+0)
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Back in 2009, Cuban performance artist Tania Bruguera staged her work Tatlin’s Whisper #6 in Havana without a hitch.  This past January, she planned to restage the event in Havana’s Revolutionary Square, but authorities not only stopped the performance, they arrested Bruguera, who has been blocked from leaving the country ever since.

Tatlin’s Whisper #6 (in Spanish, El Susurro de Tatlin #6), is the sixth piece of a series which, according to Bruguera’s own statement, “examines the relationship between apathy and anesthetization of the images in the mass media.”

It’s not really a play, nor even a performance.  It is a participatory event that consists of a podium and a microphone.  Two hundred disposable cameras are distributed among the audience, who are encouraged to record the event.  Anyone who cares to express himself is allowed one minute at the podium.  A white dove is placed on his or her shoulder and removed when one minute has passed.  During that minute, the speaker is encouraged to speak freely.

View the subtitled 2009 performance, below:

El Susurro de Tatlin #6 (versión para La Habana) from Estudio Bruguera on Vimeo.


Monday, the New York nonprofit art group Creative Time joined the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the Witte de With in Rotterdam in restaging their own respective versions of the performance, titled #YoTambienExijo: A Restaging of Tatlin’s Whisper #6.

Their goal is not only to express solidarity with Brugheura’s but many other artists across the world who have been punished for exercising their fundamental right to freedom of expression.

Cecily Hilleary
Cecily began her reporting career in the 1990s, covering US Middle East policy for an English-language network in the UAE. She has lived and/or worked in the Middle East, North Africa and Gulf, consulting and producing for several regional radio and television networks and production houses, including MBC, Al-Arabiya, the former Emirates Media Incorporated and Al-Ikhbaria. She brings to VOA a keen understanding of global social, cultural and political issues.

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