The Right to Have Rights
A new “artivist” movement demands freedom of expression in Cuba.
Dec 23, 2020
On November 27, 2020, Cuban artists, writers, and filmmakers carried out an unprecedented protest in front of the Ministry of Culture in Havana. A crowd of more than 300 people chanted and waited for 12 hours to pressure officials to open the Ministry’s doors and listen to their demands. At 9:00 p.m., 32 of them were allowed inside for a historic five-hour meeting with officials. The protesters called on the Cuban government to refrain from harassing independent artists, to stop treating dissent as a crime, and to cease its violence against the San Isidro Movement, a group of artists and activists that had staged a hunger strike to protest the arrest and sentencing of a young rapper. Out of that encounter emerged a new “artivist” movement called 27N. I asked several artists—Camila Lobón, Julio Llópiz Casal, Luis Manuel Otero Alacantra, and Reynier Leyva Novo—to speak about the significance of this new movement and the response of the Cuban government to the protests.
Camila Lobón photographed by Reynier Leyva Novo, 2020
Julio Llópiz Casal photographed by Reynier Leyva Novo, 2020
Luis Manuel Otero Alacantra during his hunger strike, photographed by Katherine Bisquet, 2020
Reynier Leyva Novo and Tania Bruguera, photographed by Reynier Leyva Novo, 2020
A 27N meeting photographed by Reynier Leyva Novo, 2020
Social Practice, Cuban Style
Artists rise up to protest a police killing in Havana and a government’s repressive policies.
Jul 10, 2020
Dignity Does Not Rest: An Interview with Tania Bruguera
The artist describes her 2018 arrest for protesting the Cuban government’s Decree 349, and why she plans to continue fighting.
Stuart Comer, Tania Bruguera, Leah Dickerman
Dec 14, 2018