Rolling Stone recalls that Latin Grammy-winning Cuban political prisoner is still in prison

The digital magazine Árbol Invertido, managed by the exiled writer in Spain, Francis Sánchez, chose 12 figures of Cuban culture who have set standards in the year 2022.

“We set out to make a count of those most outstanding figures throughout the year, because it is important to call the public’s attention to the number of intellectuals, artists who have stood out in the year not only for the quality of their work, but also for the ethical social commitment with the destiny of Cuba, with the Cuban reality, with the people of Cuba and with the search for freedom, which is a fundamental purpose in times of totalitarianism,” Martí, Sánchez told Radio Television.

“We understand that authentic culture, authentic art is independent art, made from the search for the artist’s freedom. And it is a much more peremptory reality in times of totalitarianism. In this sense, we proposed not only to select the most prominent figures in the media; We know that there are well-known artists such as the actress Ana de Armas or Chanel, who was a finalist for Eurovision. But we were interested above all in those figures who had a commitment to the sociopolitical reality in this very difficult moment that the people of Cuba are experiencing,” the author pointed out.

Heading the list are the artists Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara and Maykel Castillo Pérez “El Osorbo”, from the San Isidro Movement, “incarcerated since 2021” but who have continued to impact Cuban society for their firmness in the prisons of Guanajay and Kilo 5 , where they are serving sentences “for their pro-democratic activism” of 5 and 9 years of imprisonment, respectively. Both are prisoners of conscience, according to Amnesty International.

other selected

Cuban singer and songwriter Ángela Álvarez, 95 years old, who won the Latin Grammy Award in the “Best New Artist” category, thus becoming the oldest person to receive the important award.

The artist Tania Bruguera and the Hannah Arendt Artivism Institute (INSTAR) because “they played a significant role in the legitimization and dissemination of independent Cuban art from the exhibition carried out by the organization for more than three months within the framework of Documenta 15, one of the most important contemporary art exhibitions in the world”, in the German city of Kassel.

The independent journalist Luz Escobar, exiled in Madrid in 2022, after enduring years of harassment and persecution by State Security due to her work in the newspaper 14ymedio. In that same year, she received the International Journalism Award from the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

Filmmaker Alejandro Alonso, graduated from the San Antonio de los Baños International Film and Television School (EICTV), “has become one of the most solid voices within the Cuban seventh art in recent years.” His documentary Abisal has won notable international awards.

United States-based conductor and composer Tania León, honored by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts “for her lifetime artistic contribution, a recognition she shared with such figures as George Clooney, Gladys Knight, and the U2 rock band.

The artist Hamlet Lavastida was imprisoned for three months in 2021 at the political police headquarters known as Villa Marista, until his forced exile by the authorities of the regime. After settling in Berlin, Germany, he managed to successfully continue his artistic work that has been exhibited this 2022 in spaces such as the Reina Sofía National Museum of Art, located in Madrid.

Poet María Cristina Garrido is serving a 7-year sentence in the Guatao women’s prison for her participation in the July 11 protests in Quivicán, Mayabeque.

The writer from Camagüey Rafael Almanza, who “despite the repression and censorship of the regime has maintained La Peña del Júcaro Martiano for several decades”, one of the oldest independent cultural manifestations in the country. Almanza is one of the creators of the publishing house Ediciones Homagno, which has published numerous works censored by the regime.

The filmmaker José Luis Aparicio, protagonist of “a prolific career in which he mixes directing and writing films with curatorial and critical work within Cuban cinema, for which reason” he has become one of the leaders of the filmmaking community independent of the island.

The artist and cultural manager Sandra Ceballos, a graduate of the San Alejandro School of Fine Arts, “became this year the second Cuban resident on the Island to win one of the scholarships awarded each year by the CINTAS Foundation, in her case at the visual arts category.

And the journalist and writer Carlos Manuel Álvarez, who has just won the accredited “Sergio González Rodríguez” Anagrama Chronicle Award for “Los intrusos”, which describes the quartering, in Old Havana, of the San Isidro Movement in 2020, of which he was one of the participants.

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Rolling Stone recalls that Latin Grammy-winning Cuban political prisoner is still in prison