Friday, February 20, 2009

Crossing the Rubicon

Photo: "Civic Ghosts,” Performance Group Omni-Zona Franca, 2003, La Habana.

I still believe, and always will believe, that “Boring Home” was a victory over censorship, and I like to think even over State Security, because for the first time they couldn’t take their clubs to the “strange kids.” But I don’t think I should get carried way by the euphoria of an event that doesn’t imply a change in government policy towards those of us who are different: we dream of change, we hope one day to have the freedom to think, to choose, to say, to work and to dissent.

Orlando continues to receive calls, this time they say they will not forget him, and even that they are going to kick his face in that earliest opportunity. Yoani continues living in the state of siege they’ve installed at her building, where two muscular weight-lifting types pass their days with two objectives: to intimidate her and her entire family and, incidentally, the entire neighborhood, and to report on her activities. Gorki received information through a supportive neighbor that Security has ordered them to report on his every move. And finally, demonstrating their filthy techniques, they have called in the husband of Miriam Celaya of the blog Sin Evasion [Without Evasion]. Not only have they interrogated a person who has never dissented, at least not publicly, but they have threatened him: his work, his family, his children. And I know of others who have been intimidated in these last few months, but they’ve preferred to consider it a random act and haven’t reported it, which I think is a mistake, because with this government and all, I believe, we've crossed the Rubicon.

And not only have we crossed our own Rubicon, but we’ve dragged our friends and families across with us, despite our best efforts not to. As Miriam said, “Just a sample of this despicable and sordid system, with a total disregard for family values, the true face of Cuban socialism.”

Notwithstanding all these things, we continue to be different (the government’s teaching falls on deaf ears with us). We continue our blogger meetings, which even more than a blogger journey, seem to me now to be a blogging-cultural journey, if such a thing exists. We look at documentary photographs and last week, amid the preparations for the not-boring release of Boring Home, the artists of Omni-Zona Franca honored our space with the premiere of one of their documentaries. I have chosen photos of them to lighten, a bit, the sadness out of this post.

Photo: "Three hours of speech," Performance of the group Omni-Zona Franca, 2004, Santiago de Cuba.


Anonymous said...

I hope you are able to continue writing in difficult circumstances. I am not persecuted for wiring my blog and you should be free to continue as well. I hope that together our stories help change the hearts and minds of our political leaders here.

Guidou said...

50 years ago, they made a revolution to get
rid of the same things that, they themselves,
are doing today !!!!

Where is the difference ??

Aside that, before them, the others didn't
leave such a mess behind.