Over 140 artists and intellectuals including Tania Bruguera and Katherine Bisquet have voiced their support for Hamlet Lavastida.
“Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara is being detained solely for peacefully expressing his ideas through his art and for his nonviolent defense of human rights,” the open letter reads.
Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara has been without food or fluids for seven days after Cuban police raided his home and took several artworks.
The motion was filed on behalf of 1,252 artists, and counting, who signed a petition in its favor, including artists Tania Bruguera and Sandra Ceballos.
Tania Bruguera and Katherine Bisquet were among those detained prior to a peaceful demonstration convened by the 27N Movement in front of the Ministry of Culture in Havana.
Seven of them have been on hunger strike for more than 140 hours after police intercepted attempts by a neighbor to drop off food and supplies.
Bruguera was arrested in her home under pretenses of “pandemic contagion,” preventing her from attending a demonstration against the killing of Hansel Ernesto Hernández Galiano.
The artist has been detained over 20 times in two years. But this time, his colleagues on the island mobilized in his defense — and that made all the difference.
Cuban artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, who was arrested last Sunday while on his way to an anti-censorship protest, could face between two and five years in prison.
Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara was planning to attend a “kiss-in” convened by the local LGBTQ+ community in response to the government’s censorship of a film broadcast.
The treatment of Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara is emblematic of a struggle in Cuba over who defines and controls art and culture.
In an in-depth interview translated from Spanish, artist and scholar Coco Fusco discusses the 2019 Havana Biennial and state of the Cuban art world with poet and cultural commentator Katherine Bisquet.