The Siege of Tania Bruguera is Lifted

La artista Tania Bruguera en el umbral de su casa. (Yania Suárez)
The artist Tania Bruguera at the front door of her home. (Yania Suárez)

Last Friday, June 26 th, a police official paid a visit to  Tania Bruguera to inform her that the charges against her were being temporarily lifted. The artist refused to sign the offer, and demanded that the charges be permanently lifted, without any restrictions on her returning to her own country.

This information was made public by a message sent through the #yotambienexijo (“I also demand”) platform nearly six months after Bruguera was detained while preparing to give a performance in Havana’s Plaza de la Revolución. At the time of her arrest on December 30 th, the authorities also confiscated her passport, without which she cannot leave the country.

Bruguera decided to launch the Hannah Arendt Artivist Institute during the Havana Biennial. For more than  one hundred consecutive hours, she led the reading, analysis, and discussion of Arendt’s  The Origins of Totalitarianism. The event was ignored due to relentless police pressure,  a very noisy street repair right in front of the artist’s home, and the subsequent arrest of Bruguera and several companions.

In the text published last Monday on the #yotambienexijo platform, the artist explained that the deal offered her “is unacceptable blackmail, whose intention is to control my art and silence me as a citizen.” Meanwhile, she is suing the Cuban Ministries of Culture and of the Interior for damages incurred during last December’s events.

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