USF will host the screening of a film on the repression of Cuban artists
TAMPA, FL – Thursday, November 18 at 6 p.m. on University of South Florida Museum of Contemporary Art will present an online screening of the short film “Generación” (2019) by Cuban artist Marco Castillo, who laments the loss of several generations of cultural voices due to the actions of the Cuban government.
The screening will be followed by a conversation with Castillo and exiled Cuban artists and activists Katherine Bisquet and Hamlet Lavastida. The conversation addressing the current context of artists in Cuba will be moderated by the General Curator of USFCAM, Christian Viveros-Fauné.
USFCAM has showcased Cuban art and artists for more than three decades.
“The criminalization of free speech in Cuba requires our attention to the plight of these artists and others who are currently working to open up society in Cuba,” said New Media Curator Don Fuller. “According to organizations like Amnesty International, PEN America and Human Rights Watch, the Cuban government continues to commit systematic human rights violations against artists, journalists, writers, musicians and others. Expressing opinions contrary to those of the Cuban government has become punishable by law and an offense punishable by jail time.
USFCAM supports the Cuban artistic community, both inside and outside the island, in its appeal to the Cuban authorities to end the systematic harassment of artists, writers, journalists and others; to release those arbitrarily detained, arrested or missing; and to respect fundamental freedoms, such as artistic freedom and free speech, Fuller said.
On the eve of the 14th Havana Biennale, an event designed to celebrate the creatives that the Cuban government now systematically suppresses, USFCAM joins the campaign launched by the 27N Movement, the San Isidro Movement and the Archipiélago platform in saying “Yes” to freedom of expression in Cuba and “no to the 14th Havana Biennale”.
“Freedom of speech and freedom of artistic expression are among the highest human values,” Fuller said. “Healthy societies cherish critical artistic voices and do not deny them their freedom.”
Marco Castillo, born in Camaguey, Cuba in 1971, lives and works in Mérida, Mexico.
Founder of the artistic collective Los Carpinteros, Castillo’s work is imbued with an interest in Cuban history and post-revolutionary, social and cultural changes in the country. His works often focus on the modernization of Cuba in the 1960s and 1970s, making ample reference to influential Cuban artists, architects and designers, key figures he calls a “forgotten generation”.
From a political point of view, Castillo seeks to follow the historical trace of these artists, while positioning himself as both defender and herald of Cuban artistic heritage. His work is represented in important public and private collections, including Tate Modern, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana; Reina Sofía Museum, Madrid; Thyssen – Bornemisza Contemporary Art, Vienna; Center Georges Pompidou, Paris; Daros Foundation, Zürich; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles.
Katherine Bisquet, born in Ciudad Nuclear, Cuba, in 1992, is a poet and activist who has published two collections of poetry, “Algo aquí se descompone (Colección Sur Editores, Havana, 2014)” and “Nuclear City mon amour (Ediciones Sinsentido, Havana, 2020). “
She organized the # 00Bienal de Havana in 2018, and participated in the hunger strike of the San Isidro movement in November 2020. In 2021, she received the Antonia Eiriz scholarship from the Hannah Arendt International Artivism Institute, awarded to independent artists and intellectuals, for his book project “Los Mojados.”
Bisquet has published in magazines and newspapers around the world, including: Vice en español, El Estornudo, Hyperallergic and Hypermedia. She is also the co-creator of Rialta magazine’s column “Cuban Cinema during Quarantine”, an initiative designed to save, research and promote Cuban cinema.
Hamlet Lavastida, born in Havana, Cuba in 1993, is a political activist by his art. The provocative and boundary-pushing artist strives to highlight the uniquely Cuban spirit of cultural resistance, often by reconstructing elements of Cuban political and military propaganda.
His work has been widely exhibited, among others, at the Contemporary Art Center in Łaźnia, Gdańsk, Poland; The 8th Floor, New York; Gentil Carioca Gallery, Rio do Janeiro, Brazil; Centro Wifredo Lam, Havana, Cuba; and Museum of Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain.
Lavastida was arrested by Cuban authorities on June 26, days after returning from a residence at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin. He was held for three months in Villa Marista prison, a prison known to hold political prisoners, until September 25, when he and Katherine Bisquet were escorted by 20 officers to José Martí airport and transported from Havana to Warsaw, Poland, without a chance to say goodbye to their family.
Christian Viveros-Fauné, born in Santiago, Chile in 1965, is the general curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of South Florida. He received the Kennedy Family Visiting Fellowship from the University of South Florida in 2018, a Creative Capital / Warhol Foundation Fellowship in 2009, and was appointed Critic-in-Residence at the Bronx Museum in 2011.
He co-founded The Brooklyn Rail in 1999, wrote art reviews for the Village Voice from 2008 to 2016, was an art and culture critic for artnet news from 2016 to 2018, and was also chief critic for Artland and Sotheby’s.
He has lectured extensively at institutions such as Yale University, Pratt University and the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in the Netherlands.
He is also the author of several books. His most recent, “Social Forms: A Short History of Political Art,” was published by David Zwirner Books in 2018. He was recently appointed Artistic Director of Converge 45’s (Portland, Oregon) for the 2022-2023 season.
Click on here to subscribe to the film online via Zoom.
The film will also be broadcast simultaneously on Facebook Live.
It will also be available for viewing in line until 10 p.m. on November 18.