The More Things Change...
By admin on Apr 25, 2015 | In Performing Arts
As the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
It wasn't long ago that the United States declared it was going to try to re-establish diplomatic relations with the long disassociated nation of Cuba. Why? Well, fifty years of boycotting didn't bring about the downfall of the communist island country, and one might say there was the perception of a more mellow leadership now that Fidel Castro has stepped down.
But Cuba's government wasn't feeling mellow when it stepped in and shut down performance artist Tania Bruguera as she attempted to stage an artistic demonstration dedicated to free speech. The piece, called Tatlin?s Whisper #6, was supposed to take place in Havana?s Revolution Square near the end of 2014. The concept was that Ms. Bruguera would invite members of the public to stand at a podium and express themselves freely for a minute.
The Cuban government detained Ms. Bruguera, confiscated her passport, and has charges pending against her. If Cuba's feeling a bit more friendly toward America these days, apparently that feeling doesn't fully extend to the sentiments of America's First Amendment.
As a matter of fact, there are more than a few artists who aren't all that sure that America always embraces its constitutional freedom of speech guarantees. So, in the spirit of solidarity, artists in New York recently restaged Ms. Bruguera's performance work in Times Square. According to an ArtNews article, the comments in New York focused more on American speech suppressions rather than Cuban.
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