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STATEMENT BY ARTISTS AND INTELLECTUALS PUBLISHED IN LA JORNADA NEWSPAPER IN MEXICO:
Yes to Bienal de La Habana!
To artists and intellectuals of the world:
They are trying to politically manipulate the international artistic community in an attempt to boycott the Biennial Event in Havana, Cuba, which has earned the respect of art critics and creators of the visual arts all over the world.
A text in English and Spanish circulates from the United States and Europe, 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.
Bienal de La Habana is developed, designed and promoted by prestigious artists, curators and specialists of the Wilfredo Lam Contemporary Art Center in Havana.
For 13 editions, the Biennial Event has been a plural and diverse referent that privileges conceptual art and the most renovating tendencies of contemporary art, as hundreds of artists, critics and connoisseurs 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 an anti-hegemonic alternative to the trivialization of art by the action of the market.
The intended boycott has a clear imperial and destabilizing tinge against Cuba and the Biennial Event, which are suffering from the difficulties, shortages and uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. In the case of Cuba, those difficulties are terribly aggravated by the asphyxiating reinforcement of the U.S. blockade, kept intact by President Joseph Biden, contrary to what he promised during his campaign.
In Cuba, no one is imprisoned for his or her political convictions or ideas, artist included. 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 large extent, their professional training, public recognition, and international notoriety to the cultural policy, the arts education system, the cultural institutions, and to the event that they are now belittling.
We proclaim the right of Cuba and that of the Bienal de La Habana to exist, and the right to a respectful, supportive and enriching exchange among cultures and peoples.
We welcome the Havana Biennial Event, Bienal de La Habana!