Cuban performance artist Tania Bruguera was detained by authorities in Havana before a controversial planned performance, according to Deborah Bruguera, the artist’s sister. The piece was to consist of installing a podium and an open microphone in Havana’s Revolution Square, allowing any interested individuals the opportunity to speak their minds for exactly one minute.
According to her family, the artist was detained before the activity could be held. Tania is the coordinator of the campaign #YoTambienExijo (I Also Demand).
Read below an open letter to the president of Cuba, Raúl Castro, asking for the release of Tania Bruguera:
General Raúl Castro Ruz
President of the Republic of Cuba
On the 30th of December 2014, the artist Tania Bruguera called for a public recreation of her performance artwork Tatlin’s Whisper (Havana Version) (2009) at the Plaza de La Revolución in La Havana, Cuba. The intention of the artist—extensively communicated by the media—was to generate a moment of reflection and debate about the changes that Cuba’s society and government should undergo as a result of the restoration of normal diplomatic relations with the United States, announced on December 17.
We are profoundly troubled by the fact that this initiative did not find a positive echo with the authorities and has led to the disturbing detention of the artist and more Cuban citizens. By this means, we respectfully ask for the release of Tania Bruguera and all other citizens detained. Recognized internationally as one of the most important Latin American artists, Bruguera’s work focuses on social intervention and politics; as she has noted on repeated occasions, her form of artistic engagement is a result of the education provided by the Cuban Revolution. We firmly believe her detention, and the withdrawal of her Cuban passport, are inappropriate responses to a work of art that simply sought to open space for public discussion.
Cuauhtémoc Medina, Art curator and critic, Mexico
Andrea Giunta, Art historian, Argentina
Miguel López, Art curator and critic, Peru
Octavio Zaya, Art curator and critic, Spain and USA