> Open Letter to the Heads of State

17.12.2014 .
Vatican City, Italy.


Download PDF

Dear Raúl, querido Obama, dear Pope Francis,

First let me offer congratulations, because politicians are expected to make history and today, December 17th, 2014, has been a historic day.

You have made history by proposing that the embargo/blockade become empty words. With the restoration of diplomatic relations, you have transformed the meaning of fifty-three years of policies defined by one side (the United States) and used by the other (Cuba) to ideologically guide the daily lives of Cubans everywhere. I wonder if this gesture is not also a proposal to kill ideology itself? Cuba is finally seeing itself, not from the perspective of death, but of life. But, I wonder, what will that life be and who will have the right to that new life?

Very well then, Raúl:

As a Cuban, today I call for the right to know what is being planned with our lives and, as part of this new phase, for the establishment of a politically transparent process in which we will all be able to participate, and to have the right to hold different opinions without punishment. When it comes time to reconsider what has defined who we are, that it not include the same intolerance and indifference which has so far accompanied changes in Cuba-a process in which acquiescence is the only option.

As a Cuban, today I demand there be no more privileges or social inequalities. The Cuban Revolution distributed privileges to those in government or deemed trustworthy (read: loyal) by the government. This has not changed. Privilege created the social inequalities under which we have always lived, inequalities which were then rationalized as a revolutionary meritocracy and are now being transformed into a reliable entrepreneurial class. I demand that the emotional and tangible rights of those who cannot participate in this new phase-those at the bottom-be protected.

As a Cuban, today I demand that we not be defined by the financial markets nor by how useful we can be to government. I call for equality for the Cuban who, due to the blockade/embargo, spent his life working in a factory only to come home a proud worker’s hero but now has no place in a world of foreign investments and can only hope to receive a pension defined by the standards of socialist times, not by today’s market economy. What is the plan, Raul, to avoid the same mistakes made by the countries from the former socialist camp? To avoid returning to the Cuba of 1958? How do we repair the emotional abuse the Cuban people have endured through the politics of recent years? How do we ensure there is social and material justice? How do we guarantee we will not become a colony, that we won’t have to accept our new providers without question-as happened first with the Soviet Union and then with Venezuela?

As a Cuban, today I call for the right of peaceful protest in the streets to support or denounce any government decision without fear of reprisal. I call for the legal right to establish associations and political parties with platforms that differ from that of the ruling party. I call for the decriminalization of civic activism, civil society, and of those with different points of view. I demand that the legitimacy of political parties born of the popular will be recognized. I call for direct elections in which all political parties are allowed to participate, and for ideological discrepancies to be resolved with debate and not via acts of repudiation.

As a Cuban, today I demand the right to be a political being-not merely an economic entities or symbolic exchange to make history.

As a Cuban, Raúl, today I want to know the vision for the nation we are building.

As an artist, Raul, I propose you today to exhibit “Tatlin’s Whisper #6” at the Plaza de la Revolución (Revolution Square). Let’s open the microphones and let all voices be heard. Let’s not offer just the clatter of coins to fulfill our lives. Let’s turn on the microphones. Let’s learn together to make something of our dreams.

Today I’d like to I propose that Cubans take to the streets wherever they may be on December 30th to celebrate, not the end of a blockade/embargo, but the beginning of our civil rights.

Let’s make sure it’s the Cuban people who will benefit from this new historic moment. Our homeland is what hurts us.

Tania Bruguera
Vatican City, December 17, 2014

> Communique #1

20.12.2014 .
Platform #YoTambienExijo


Download PDF


Following the Open Letter sent by the artist Tania Bruguera to Cuban President Raúl Castro on December 17th, a volunteer civic platform sprung up from its key phrase, “I demand,” with the purpose of gathering on December 30th at La Plaza de la Revolución in Havana to call for the political, economic, cultural and civil rights of Cuban citizens. #YOTAMBIENEXIJO is a public and inclusive platform.

The answer to the question “Who are we?” is none other than “Who am I?” If you are Cuban and you believe in the restitution of your rights, then this platform is you.


A call to Cubans to come peacefully to La Plaza de la Revolución in Havana on December 30th in order to use an open microphone to make a personal gesture in a public space. Speaking for ourselves is the first step toward the reclamation of our rights. Everyone has the floor. Make La Plaza de la Revolución the place for discussion and debate. LA PLAZA ES TU PLAZA.


Next December 30th at 3 P.M. EST, #YOTAMBIENEXIJO will gather, without violence and without fear, at La Plaza de la Revolución to transform it into a space of respect for diversity of opinions about what kind of country we want to build. True freedom means tolerance.

> Press Release #1

21.12.2014 .
Platform #YoTambienExijo


Download PDF

Cubans call for a peaceful gathering in La Plaza de Revolución. After the joint announcement from Cuba and the U.S. about the reestablishment of diplomatic relations, Cuban citizens, based on the demands articulated in #YoTambienExijo, call for a peaceful gathering in Havana’s historic Plaza de la Revolución on December 30th at 3 p.m. (local time) in order to discuss, via an open microphone, what kind of nation they want for themselves.

“It would be a personal gesture in a public space. Speaking for ourselves is the first step toward the reclamation of our rights. Everyone will have the floor. Make the La Plaza de la Revolución a space for discussion and debate”, said the organizers of #YoTambienExijo. The group’s Facebook FanPage added more than 1,000 likes in the first 24 hours after the historic news.

Following the Open Letter sent by Cuban artist Tania Bruguera to Cuban President Raúl Castro, the U.S. President Barack Obama and Pope Francis on December 17th, a civic, volunteer and non-partisan movement sprung up.

Based on the key phrase from the letter, “I demand,” Cubans will reclaim their civil, political, economic and cultural rights. “#YOTAMBIENEXIJO is a public and inclusive platform. The answer to the question “Who are we?” is no other than “Who am I?” If you are Cuban and you do believe in the restitution of your rights, then this platform is you”, states the call.”Today, as a Cuban, I demand to be informed about the plans being made with our lives, and that, as part of this new stage, a process of political transparency be established; where we all can have a space of participation and the right to have a different opinion that won’t be punished (…) “Today, as a Cuban, I want to know which is the idea of Nation that we are building”, asserts Tania Bruguera in her Open Letter to the three Chiefs of State.

. See FanPage #YoTambienExijo: www.facebook.com/YoTambienExijo
. See Facebook Event: www.facebook.com/events/1515487705372907
. See Open Letter at Blog www.taniabruguera.com
. Twitter: @yotambienexijo
. Press Contact: Email: exige@yotambienexijo.org

> Communique #2

22.12.2014 .
Platform #YoTambienExijo


Download PDF

Dear Cub@ns,

Following the news of December 17th that stirred our Nation, I sent a letter to the Cuban newspaper, Granma (which, of course, was not published). After its publication by other press media, a group of Cuban citizens with no party affiliation reacted to a phrase in this letter that calls all Cubans to gather next December 30th at La Plaza to speak out at an open microphone.

They have created the platform #YoTambienExijo (http://www.facebook.com/YoTambienExijo) to which they have invited me, and so far, it has added more 1000 persons with the common purpose of making real what was kind of a metaphor in my letter or maybe an unconscious desire that slipped out of my mind due to that day’s commotion.

The idea is to get together at La Plaza on December the 30th at 15:00 in order to speak and discuss peacefully about what concerns us in these days, to be there and let others know of what we think and our reasons for it, in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect.

Let there be diversity of opinions and topics so we can discuss and talk among us all. We do not have any kind of agenda nor follow any particular ideology; we just want people to come, those that have not found a space to share their doubts or experiences, and those that felt they were not represented by the alternative spaces already open.

Let’s all come: housewives, self-employed persons, movie makers, mechanics, taxi drivers, managers, sex workers, students, marginalized persons, teachers, retired persons, farmers, blue collar workers, in fact all; let’s get together and think about what is the concept of nation that we want to build and put into practice. We are not going to celebrate the potential ending of the embargo; we want to celebrate the birth of our rights. On that day we are not going to claim our rights, instead we are going to exercise our rights.

It would be great to interact with you on that day at La Plaza, as a direct referent to a work I did at the 2009 Bienal de la Habana, where I set a microphone that was used by those who stood for the Revolution, those who criticized it, those who couldn’t understand our reality, those who were afraid, and those who tried to vocalize their right to express their ideas.

It would be an honor to have you there. See you on December 30th at La Plaza. A different Plaza, our Plaza.

Tania Bruguera
Yo También Exijo

. See Open Letter at Blog: https://arendtinstitute.org/?p=2711

. See Facebook Event: www.facebook.com/events/1515487705372907

. See FanPage #YoTambienExijo: www.facebook.com/YoTambienExijo

. Twitter: @yotambienexijo
. Press Contact: Email: exige@yotambienexijo.org

> Declaration of Principles for Artistic Action

25.12.2014 .
Platform #YoTambienExijo


Download PDF

Given the fact that art leads to multipleinterpretations.

Given the diversity of views that are summoned there and thepassion with which Cubans defend our ideas.

Given the fact that we have received proposals Cubans aroundthe world who also want to speak from their Plaza.

Given the peaceful nature of the #YoTambienExijo platformthat promotes the meeting of the 30th of December.

We want to provide access to instructions, so that this workmay be performed with us in Havana, or elsewhere.

Ten instructions to activate the work “Tatlin’s Whisper# 6”
(Note: Before starting the work a person explains the rules to all present).

1. The microphone is open for anyone who wants to use it.

2. Each person has a minute to speak whereupon should leave the microphone to those who follow and respect the right of others to express themselves on equal terms.

3. Each group to perform this piece can choose in what way they will indicate that the intervention time is over. We suggest: clapping, finger snaps, a buzzer alarm sound, a musical instrument.

4. The main rule of this work is that ALL reviews are welcome and the audience may NOT stop the intervention. If someone disagrees can use its minute at the microphone to offer a different opinion.

5. Each person involved in the performance will speak from his/her point of view. No spokespersons or alternative institutions or government groups will be accepted. It is a public but individual action.

6. Vulgarity, swearword, curse, calls to violence, discrimination or affronts to the integrity of individuals, shall not be accepted.

7. Not illegal acts or violent actions against public order are accepted.

8. The length of the work is up to the public. In the event the work spans for several hours and recurrent ideas were detected, the audience can resolve to establish a new ‘open mic’ to talk about a specific topic. Whenever a new group starts, the rules will be explained again.

9. The order of speakers will be determined by the order in which the word is requested. The order of speakers should be respected.

10. The work is an Art Space where we all can design our desires and our human imaginaries.


> Open Letter to Pope Francis

26.12.2014 .
Frankfurt, Germany


Download PDF

Frankfurt, December 26, 2014

His Holiness, Pope Francis

Vatican City, 00120

His Holiness Dear Pope Francis,

My name is Tania Bruguera, I am a Cuban who was raised as an atheist and a communist, but to whom life has taught that everything has nuances and that we learn from everyone. I think that inner peace is only found when one sees oneself in the other.

I am writing to you as a Cuban, as an artist and as a citizen, to let you know that I will be arriving at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana-Cuba today, December 26, 2014 at 20:05 pm local time on the Condor Flight of 5184, and humbly ask you for your blessing and protection on my trip and stay in Cuba, and protection and blessings to those who will attend as well as participate in my performance at La Plaza de la Revolución in La Habana, Cuba, on December 30th at 3 pm. This is going to be an artistic event that will allow us to speak and peacefully talk about what concerns us right now.

On December 17th, 2014, I was in Rome listening to your sermon, hours after US and Cuba presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro announced the resumptions of diplomatic relations between the two countries, while thanking His Holiness for his mediation. My first reaction was to write an Open Letter (https://arendtinstitute.org/?cat=2711) addressed to His Holiness, Barack Obama and Raul Castro thanking them for the historic moment and then after that I headed straight to Raúl, asking him questions and expressing my doubts, just as any other Cuban citizen who wants to understand would do.

Following the publication of my Open Letter, a group of politically unaffiliated Cubans, located in different parts of the world, reacted to a line contained in the document, it invited “all Cubans to meet on December 30th at La Plaza of the Revolution to speak at an ‘open mic'”. This group created the #YoTambienExijo (http://www.facebook.com/YoTambienExijo) platform, with three thousand people joining in, in just six days. Many Cubans inside and outside the island nation, and with different ways of thinking and different faiths, all wanting to participate in the future of Cuba.

#YoTambienExijo platform has proposed a re-do of the performance I did at the Havana Bienal in 2009, mentioned in the Open Letter. This time the performance will not enjoy the protection afforded by being part of an international art event, and as a response to the historical moment this is to us Cubans. The #yotambienexijo platform is proposing that the event on the 30th is held as a civil and peaceful event where discrimination, insults to the integrity of persons, calls for violence, illegal acts or violent actions against public order will not be tolerated or accepted.

The performance will be held at a public space, with ordinary Cubans as protagonists, under the concept of Useful Arts. Performances and initiatives such as this one we are holding at our public square, better known as La Plaza are common occurrences in other countries. Social and artistic movements have always been linked, one of the strongest examples of this symbiotic relationship in Latin America was that of the movement Tucumán Arde. These processes extend political borders and Cuba is part of the world, so we see as a very positive development for the Cuban society to insert ourselves into the global art movements and human rights to promote and rescue the faith for a better world.

His Holiness, I had already planned to go to Havana to spend with my family, who are elderly and sick people the New Year’s holiday. My travel documents are all in order, I am not carrying documents deemed as subversive and/or illegal. The only thing I carry is the honesty of my words, my passion for Cuba where all Cubans are equal, and a desire to see in Cuba a society without political, social, economic, religious, cultural injustices and where money is not the answer to all the concerns of the soul.

His Holiness Pope Francis, our freedom is also in your protection. Please, do not leave us alone. I’ll be at La Plaza because I have no fear. I hope that you will spiritually accompany all of us that will be on December 30th 2014 at 15:00 at our public square in Cuba.

His Holiness, bless us Cubans, at a time when Pope John Paul II words are very relevant, when in 1998 in that same plaza he told Cubans not to be afraid, to open ourselves to the world so that the world could then open to us.

His Holiness, Pope Francis, congratulations on your birthday and May God grant you much strength to continue fulfilling your mission. Our humble prayers are always with you.

Tania Bruguera
Platform spokesman #YoTambienExijo

> The work will be performed

27.12.2014 .
Platform #YoTambienExijo


Download PDF

12.27.2014- The meeting today between artist Tania Bruguera, spokesperson for the #YoTambienExijo platform, and the President of the National Council of Arts (CNAP), Rubén del Valle, lasted over three hours. The #YoTambienExijo platform is calling for an artistic performance at the Revolution Square in Havana on Tuesday December 30th at 15 h.

Discussions about the feasibility of the realization of the performance occupied most of the time. Del Valle made it clear that the Council does not support the organization, promotion or legal procedures for carrying out the performance of the work “Tatlin’s Whisper # 6”. On the same token Del Valle, head of the cultural institution, then proceeded to warn the artist that she could face “legal and personal consequences,” in his own words quoted later by Bruguera.

Bruguera then affirmed: “the work will be performed. This work is a contribution to the necessary discussion of ideas in Cuban society, confirming that she will continue on carrying on with the necessary legal formalities on Monday December 29 at the Directorate General of the National Revolutionary Police, State entity responsible for granting permits. Del Valle’s forecasted that the permissions “would not be granted.”

The Chair of the CNAP pleaded with the artist not to go ahead with the planned performance on this occasion because in his opinion, “the action will negatively impact public opinion, at a moment that negotiations between the governments of Cuba and the United States to fully restore diplomatic and trade relations are at its initial stages. Del Valle then proposed to her a change of venues proposingries and schools for the future performance, on which the artist disagreed because the intention of her work is to give space to all the voices in the same open place, not inside an institution.

The meeting was also useful to exchange their different points of views on political art and the role of art in society. Bruguera defended her concept of “Specific Political Moment,” which could be translated as work done for a particular context and a political situation. “It was an honest and complex conversation at the same time, in which I defended my reasons for this is the right time to make the performance” said the artist.

The work will advocate for the right of citizens to free speech, respect the political and ideological diversity existing within Cuban society and taking ownership of their own destiny as a nation.

The meeting was also attended by Jorge Fernández, the Director of the Wilfredo Lam Center, where the artist performed the original and first version of “Tatlin’s Whisper # 6” with open microphone, during the 10th edition of Annual Biennial of Havana 2009. Finally, both sides agreed to keep an open channel of communications between the Board and the Artist.

> Press Release #2

29.12.2012 .
Platform #YoTambienExijo


Download PDF

The aim of the artistic performance “Tatlin’s Whisper # 6”, Cuban artist Tania Bruguera will perform at La Plaza de la Revolución of the city of Havana, Cuba, on December 30th at 15 h (local time), is that Cubans peacefully express what ideas they have about their nation and its future, after the re-establishment of relations between Cuba and the United States.

“The work is an artistic event that will allow Cubans speak with their own voice on issues that concern them on the verge of a new year,” said Bruguera, who is widely recognized throughout Cuba and abroad for her work and reflections on the social role of art. For a full minute, any Cuban attending the performance may claim his/her rights and talk about his/her dreams and everyday problems. Similar to the performance “Tatlin’s Whisper # 6”, held on the Havana Biennial 2009 at an ‘open microphone’. This will render all attendees have their turn to speak.

The initiative is an example of political art and the role of art in society. “It’s what I call ‘Art Made for a political-timing specific’, which can be translated as a work done for a particular context and political situation,” says the artist. “The Performances and initiatives such as that to be held in La Plaza are usual in other countries. The social and artistic movements have always been connected, one of the soundest cases in Latin America was that of ‘Tucumán Arde’, for example,” says Bruguera, who has her home-studio in Cuba and lives among the United States, France and in any country where her work develops.

In Letter to Pope Francis this December 26th before leaving to Cuba, Bruguera says: “Dear Papa, our freedom is also in your protection. We need your blessing at a time when we have clearly in mind the words of John Paul II, who in that same Plaza asked Cubans not to be afraid, to open to the world, for the world could open to us.”

The artistic action will be a peaceful event where calls to violence, discrimination, affronts to the integrity of individuals, illegal acts or violent actions against public order, will not be tolerated or accepted. Clarifies the artist in the letter addressed to the Pope.

At a meeting on Saturday December 27th with Bruguera, President of the National Council of Arts, Ruben del Valle, made clear that the state agency does not support the organization, disclosure or legal procedures for carrying out the work. Bruguera then confirmed: “The work will be performed. This is a contribution of Art to the necessary discussion of ideas in Cuban society. “

Arte Útil for a better society

Civil Platform #YoTambienExijo emerged as a result to the Open Letter Bruguera forwarded on December 17th to Pope Francis, President Barack Obama, and Cuban President Raul Castro, in response to the announcement of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States. The Platform brings together dozens of Cubans inside and outside of Cuba on behalf of human rights.

“These processes expand the borders and Cuba is part of the world, so we see as a very positive deed for Cuban society that we involve into global art and human rights movements, promoting and rescuing the faith for a better world” defends the Cuban artist. Bruguera, spokesperson for the Platform, said the action is based on the need for Cubans to publicly share their expectations for the surprising political shift between the island and the United States.

“Cubans have the right to ask questions and receive answers,” justified the artist. As for the Platform #YoTambienExijo, said that “was born as an inclusive project with no political affiliation or belief, from concerns among friends, acquaintances of acquaintances, but without any experience in activism and leadership in Cuban civil society.”

. See FanPage #YoTambienExijo: www.facebook.com/YoTambienExijo
. See Facebook Event: www.facebook.com/events/1515487705372907
. See Open Letter at Blog www.taniabruguera.com
. Twitter: @yotambienexijo
. Press Contact: Email: exige@yotambienexijo.org

> Press Release #3

29.12.2014 .
Platform #YoTambienExijo


Download PDF

12/29/2014.- The Cuban artist and #YoTambienExijo Platform spokesperson, Tania Bruguera, has confirmed that the performance “Tatlin’s Whisper # 6” will take place as already announced. This Tuesday, December 30th at 15 h (local time) at La Plaza de la Revolución, Havana, Cuba. However, official agencies have not granted her permission or any positive response to the formal request for protection and guarantee of order, submitted to the Headquarters of the Policía nacional Revolucionaria (PNR) today.

Despite the lack of support from State and Government bodies, several personalities from the artistic and cultural scene of Cuba and abroad, have confirmed their support from a logistical point of view and attending the event, thereby validating its essentially artistic nature.

“The artist has the right to dissent with the power, with the status quo, and has the right to be respected for dissenting and to be protected for dissenting,” says Bruguera in the Manifesto of the Rights of the Artist, which read publicly in the “Expert Meeting on Artistic Freedom and Cultural Rights” at the United Nations Headquarters, Geneva, on December 6, 2012.

La Plaza de la Revolución is a public area, large enough so that diverse sights may be expressed peacefully. However, unofficial information envisages that the Government will organize cultural simultaneous activities at the same spot, to counter the impact of the performance. “The governments of nations where artists work, have an obligation to protect the right of the artist to dissent because that is its social function.” Holds Bruguera in the aforementioned manifesto.

If the people wants to be there nobody will be able stop it. On our side, as artists and citizens, we believe these are times when every Cuban must take a historic step. Our action will be peaceful and reactions to any issues, if happens, will also be peaceful.” Says Bruguera.

“We have worked with discipline, order, respect for the law, seeking information on regulations for public activities, from the start. We have also applied the appropriate permissions and have received support and social acceptance for a peaceful performance. If some kind of disorder generated by violent groups against the performance took place, the responsibility will fall on the Government”, says Bruguera.

In a new meeting today at the Consejo Nacional de las Artes Plásticas (CNAP), they set forth three matters to discuss with Bruguera: 1) do the performance in the courtyard of the Museo Nacional 2) do not allow entry to “any dissident or mercenary” as stated by Government officials and 3) limit the duration of the project to an hour and a half. The artist only agreed to limit the duration of the performance; as for the pending suggestions, she emphatically denied. “From my artistic and human principles, I refuse to become a censor.” She stated.

> Declaration of the Association of Plastic Artists of UNEAC

30.12.2014 .
Havana, Cuba


Download PDF

By request by the President of the Association of Plastic Artists of UNEAC CUBARTE reproduces the following text:

The renowned artist Tania Bruguera has called for a supposed performance this 30th of december to be held at the emblematic Plaza de la Revolución in Havana. This has been done outside of the framework of any cuban institution and, as it happens in these cases, the initiative has been widely circulated by counter-revolutionary media, specially by the libel publication Diario de Cuba, which quickly took a stance against the declarations made by he presidents Raúl Castro and Barack Obama on December 17. We are not naive, the meaning of this performance will not be interpreted as an artwork in any way. It is a political provocation, oriented o support the thesis of those who have circulated it.

This action does not pursue another purpose than to situate itself agains the negotiations that give hope to many human beings, first and foremost 11 million Cubans. It will be supported, if anything by a few local mercenaries who work for the politics that even President Obama has deemed as failed; by the only ones that could be benefited by blocking the current negotiations.

Cuban writers and artists deserve to know this new manoeuvre and will not be confounded by an operation that seeks to present this performance as a pure artistic creation. Its evident political intention is affirmed by the very message of an artist that does not seek anything but circumstantial protagonism.

All of our people celebrate today the return to the Homeland of our Five Heroes, as well as the announcement of the re-establishment of diplomatic relationships between Cuba and the United States. We reject any opportunist action that might try to opaque this historical moment.”

> Response to the Cuban Institutions Releases

30.12.2014 .
Plataform #YoTambienExijo


Download PDF

“Political art is the one that is made when it is unfashionable and when it is uncomfortable, legally uncomfortable, civilly uncomfortable, humanely uncomfortable. It affects us. Political art is uncomfortable knowledge,” says Tania Bruguera in her Political Art Statement / 2010. From that radical discomfort and vulnerability is placed “Tatlin’s Whisper # 6″ today, a performance that invites to speak for a minute, but yes, anyone.

As recent press releases from Cuban official institutions claimed (Consejo Nacional de las Artes Plásticas and Presidencia de la Asociación de Artistas Plásticos de la UNEAC), La Plaza de la Revolutción is a symbolic space. Affirming the public nature of the Plaza, “Tatlin’s Whisper # 6” proposes a symbolic collective occupation for only 90 minutes.

If these releases speak of “counterrevolution” “Tatlin’s Whisper # 6” mobilizes the imaginary of other Plazas that have been “revolutionized” since 2011: Tahrir in Cairo, Sol in Madrid, Syntagma in Athens, Liberty Square on Wall Street and its multiple virtual articulations through communication networks.

To those institutional statements denying the artistic status of this performance due to its political connotations and demanding “pure artistic creation”, “Tatlin’s Whisper # 6” answers with a re-appropriation of the political in art.