Art Starts Cuban Uproar

Government labels public speakers "dissidents"

A Havana art show that turned into a public podium to air grievances against the Cuban dictatorship had its speakers labelled as "dissidents" by the Communist government.

Artist Tania Bruguera's performance art piece at the 10th Havana Biennial gave speakers one minute at a podium to discuss whatever they wanted. Many took the opportunity to protest the freedom-challenged government's history of stifiling liberty.

Brugera said that the speakers were not pre-arranged and that the event "was out of my hands."

"People went up, but they could have done nothing, and the performance would have been the vacuum," Bruguera told the Miami Herald. "I never thought that so many people were going to go up like that, that people were going to speak out like they did. I don't know the people who spoke."

Freedom of Speech at Havana Art Show

Regardless, the Cuban government was none too happy with what transpired, and released a statement saying participants were "individuals at the service of the propagandistic anti-Cuban machinery."

The performance has generated plenty of buzz in Cuba and within the Cuban-American community, which seems to be exactly what Brugera wants.

"I'm an uncomfortable artist wherever I go," Bruguera told the Herald. "I'm an artist who tries to do the impossible. That's my work, and that's how I conduct my personal life."

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