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Hundreds of Latin American artists have published a letter in the Mexican newspaper La Jornada in support of the Havana Biennial taking place in November 2021 in response to a manipulative political campaign to discredit it. Here, teleSUR English reproduces their public declaration in full.
"An attempt is being made to manipulate the international art community for political purposes in an attempt to boycott the Havana Biennial, in Cuba, which has earned the respect of art critics and visual arts creators around the world. A text is circulating from the United States and Europe in English and Spanish, which aims to consolidate the narrative of those who receive funding from NGOs supported by foreign governments, with the sole purpose of discrediting the reality of art, culture and art festivals and events in Cuba.
The Havana Biennial is conceived, designed and promoted by prestigious artists, curators and specialists of the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center in Havana.
For 13 editions, the Havana Biennial has been a plural and diverse referent that privileges conceptual art and the most renovating trends in contemporary art, as hundreds of artists, critics and experts who have participated in it can attest. Four decades of existence testify to its experimental and third world character, without ideological conditioning, which has made it become an anti-hegemonic alternative to the trivialization of art by the market.
The alleged boycott has a clear imperial and destabilizing tinge against Cuba and the Biennial, which are suffering from the difficulties, shortages and uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in the planet. In this case, terribly aggravated by the asphyxiating reinforcement of the U.S. blockade, kept intact by President Joseph Biden contrary to his campaign promises.
No one in Cuba is imprisoned for his or her political convictions or ideas, including no artist. There are, however, people imprisoned for attempting, in collusion with Washington's subversive plans, against a constitutional order endorsed in 2019 by more than 85 percent of the voters.
It is truly distressing that those who instigate this campaign owe, to a great extent, their professional training, public recognition, and international notoriety to the cultural policy, the artistic education system, the cultural institutions and the event they denigrate today.
2/ La carta, publicada en el diario mexicano La Jornada, declara que desde EEUU y Europa se intenta “desacreditar la realidad del arte, la cultura y eventos artísticos en Cuba”.
"More than a hundred artists and intellectuals from some 10 countries sign letter of support for Havana Biennial, following a campaign launched by anti-revolutionary groups abroad to boycott the renowned cultural event in #Cuba."
We proclaim the right of Cuba and the Havana Biennial to exist, and the right of respectful, supportive and enriching exchange between cultures and peoples.
Welcome to the Havana Biennial!
Germaine Gómez Haro Desdier, general director of Casa Lamm; Claudia Gómez Haro Desdier, Academic Director of Casa Lamm; Rafael Pérez, Director Museo MACAY Mérida; Norman Bardavid Nissim, Director Galería 10/10; Architect Carlos Véjar, director of Archipiélago magazine;
Joel Corrales, Mario Gallardo and Félix Beltrán: Cuban visual artists living in Mexico;
Cecilia Barreto, Elia Amador Godínez, Juan José Zamarrón, Antonio Gritón, Manolo Cocho, Alfredo López Casanova, Mery Martínez, Beatriz Camfield, Demián Flores, Néstor Quiñones, Maura Falfán, Polo Castellanos, Ernesto Montes Hernández, Natacha Lopvet, Raúl Gabino San Germán Elizondo: Mexican visual artists;
Movimiento Internacional de Muralistas, Mexico chapter, Movimiento de Muralistas Mexicanos; Brigadas Plásticas, Mexico; Pablo González Casanova,Elena Poniatowska, Armando Bartra, Lorenzo Meyer, Gilberto López y Rivas, Bertha Luján, Ifigenia Martínez, Héctor Díaz Polanco, Paco Ignacio Taibo II, John Saxe-Fernández, Luis Hernández Navarro, Josefina Morales, Adalberto Santana, Ariel Rosales, Pedro Salmerón, Alicia Castellanos, Laura Esquivel, Elvira Concheiro, Enrique Semo, Abraham Nuncio, Carlos Fazio, Enrique Dussel, Rafael Barajas "El Fisgón", Paloma Saiz, Gabriel Vargas Lozano, Héctor Parker, José Reveles, Iván García Solís, Asa Cristina Laurell, Tatiana Coll, Nayar López, Tania Alvarez, Esperanza Lira Saade, Belinda Bernal, Ángel Guerra Cabrera, Consuelo Sánchez, Raul Diaz, Victoria Guillén, Teresa Castro, Florence Toussaint, Arturo Alcalde, Beatriz Luján, Leopoldo Rodarte, Yuriria Iturriaga, Mercedes Pedrero, Óscar Menéndez, Alejandro Bichir, Alma Rosa Alva de la Selva, Guillermo R. Diaz, Maricruz Gallut, José Peguero, Georgina Toussaint, Javier Gonzalez, Francisco Estrada, Sergio Olhovich, Patricia Ramírez Kuri, Rocio Mejia, Eduardo Moshes, Samuel Sosa, Raul Romero, Georgette Ramirez, José Enrique González Ruiz, Marco Velázquez, Maricarmen Montes, Cristina Steffen, Gerardo Bátiz, Leonardo Moctezuma, Víctor Iván Gutiérrez Maldonado, Carlos Caram, Mario Zepeda, Griselda de la Fuente Rojano, Sharin Padilla, Beatriz Eréndira Hernández, Blanca Nova, Héctor Balbuena, Pita Ochoa, Jorge Rolando Almanza, Gerardo Villanueva, Miguel Angel Hernandez, Marcos Fuentes, Arcadio Morales Delgado, Sergio Humberto Juárez (Checo), José Rodríguez, Juan Rodríguez Calva, Severo Hernández, Juan Barrera, Pedro Corzo, Manuel González Villalobos, Carlos Franco, Celso Aguilar Mexia, Soledad Rubalcava, María Isabel Ortíz, David Vallejo, Héctor Hernández, Rodolfo Tapia, Beatriz Hayashi, Camelia Rétiz, Ezequiel Cortés, Ernesto Ortega, Jorge Olguín, Jesús Manuel Tarín, Pancho Navarrete, Víctor Oseguera, Antonio Avila Sotelo, Gloria Romero, María Anta Martínez, Paco Rosas López, Manuel Moyers, Lorena Moyers, Enrique Peña Gómez, Luis Tovar, Rosalba Ramos, Guillermo Maldonado, Angelica Mancilla, Emilio D. Ladrón de Guevara, Rogelio Bonilla, José Contreras, Daniel Vega, Arturo Sierra, Juan Antonio Vilchis, Leonardo Moctezuma, Gilberto Avendaño Arronte, Cecilia Sotres, Verónica Lemus, Guillermo Zamora;
Claudia Valente, Julio Flores, Pablo Consentino: artists and researchers from Argentina participating in the Biennial."