In a statement released by #YoTambiénExijo (I too demand), it was reported that the artist Tania Bruguera arrived in New York this Friday, after eight months in Cuba. “I just landed at JFK (…) to be a Fellow of the Yale World Fellowship 2015,” a program of the renowned Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, her note said. She was greeted by university officials.
As a program fellow, Bruguera will be at Yale University until December of this year. She will have the opportunity to participate in a seminar taught by Yale professors on global issues, exclusively for the fellows, as well as to take classes and give lectures at Yale.
The Cuban artist announced her departure on the platform #YoTambienExijo, “while in flight through the on-board WiFi network, and not before to avoid encounters with Cuban State Security,” she said in a statement. Bruguera said that before leaving Cuba, in the Havana airport, a State Security official who said his name was “Javier” told her that he “might possibly travel to New York in September.”
On July 10, the Cuban government returned the artist’s passport to her, after having confiscated it on December 30, 2014, when she was arrested before staging a political piece of performance art in Havana.
At that time Bruguera stated that she would not leave Cuba “until I have an official document in my hands that legally assures me that I can reenter [Cuba] without problems,” which they Cuban authorities had promised to give her within the next two weeks.
The artist has been arrested several times in recent months, especially during the marches in support of the Ladies in White outside Santa Rita Church in the Havana municipality of Playa. She was also arrested during the activities of the Havana Biennial, when she decided to hold a tribute to Hannah Arendt with more than 100 consecutive hours of reading, analysis and discussion of the book, The Origins of Totalitarianism.
The event was hijacked by successive police pressure, a noisy street repair outside the home of the artist, and the subsequent arrest of Bruguera and several companions.