Index on Censorship calls for the immediate release of Cuban artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara
15 Apr 2019
Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara arrest

Cuban artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara being arrested in August 2018

Index on Censorship calls for the immediate release of Cuban artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara, a member of the 2018 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Award-winning Museum of Dissidence. This is the second time he has been arrested in two weeks.

Otero Alcantara was performing a homage to Daniel Llorente, which involved a footrace with American flags outside his home. Llorente demonstrated with the American flag in 2017 during Havana’s annual May Day celebrations. Otero Alcantara was detained along with two other artists and his whereabouts is currently unknown.

The head of Cuba’s National Council of Visual Arts, Norma Rodriguez, told Reuters in a press conference that Otero Alcantara  “is an activist, not an artist”.

Michel Matus, an artist who captured Otero Alcantara’s arrest on video, wrote a statement on the harassment and threats he faced for filming and for being part of the campaign against Decree 349, a law that criminalises independent artists and places severe restrictions on cultural activity not authorised by the state. Matus was called into a police station to show the deeds to his home to prove ownership. He was interrogated for over nine hours about the campaign, his family and Otero Alcantara.

“Artists should not be criminalised for freely expressing themselves,” said Index on Censorship CEO Jodie Ginsberg. “The Cuban government should immediately release Luis Manuel and other jailed artists and end its repressive intimidation tactics.”

Pen International and ARC join Index on Censorship in show of solidarity with Cuba’s independent artists

Index on Censorship, Pen International and Artists at Risk Connection of Pen America stand in solidarity with independent Cuban artists as the 13th Havana Biennial, which begins in the Cuban capital on 12 April and ends 12 May 2019. The month-long, state-sponsored biennial will showcase the work of international and Cuban artists who are officially-recognised [...]

Tania Bruguera: Injustice exists because previous injustices were not challenged

Tania Bruguera who was detained last week with fellow artists in Cuba for protesting against Decree 349, an artistic censorship law, has written an open letter

Index joins show of solidarity with Cuba’s jailed artists: “Art should not be criminalised”

Index on Censorship joined others at the Tate Modern today in a show of solidarity with those artists arrested in Cuba for peacefully protesting Decree 349, a law that will severely limit artistic freedom in the country

A global call: No to Cuba’s Decree 349

The decree does not include anything new to the current practice of the Cuban government, but it does offer a legal cover to a reactionary, ancient and regressive practice

Comments are closed.