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Havana’s Alternative Biennial Announces Participating Artists

The #00Bienal de La Habana—an independent exhibition that was launched after the thirteenth edition of Cuba’s state-sponsored biennial was canceled due to a lack of funds following Hurricane Irma—has named the majority of the participating artists. Note: Many international artists traveling to the island for the event were omitted from the artist list as a precautionary measure. There is concern that they could be refused entry into Cuba.

Organized by José Ernesto Alonso, Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, Yanelys Nuñez Leyva, Iris Ruiz, Yuri Obregon, and Amaury Pacheco, the exhibition will kick off on May 5 and will take place at various locations across the city, including Guanabacoa, Alamar, Central Havana, and Vedado.

Its theme, “In Every Studio a Biennial,” references the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution’s (CDR) motto, “On every block a committee, in every neighborhood a revolution.” Established by Fidel Castro after the Cuban Revolution, the CDR is a network of informants who are tasked with reporting radical activity to the government.

Spearheaded by Alcántara and Yanelys, the event is not supported by the state. Alcántara was even arrested shortly before he was expected to hold a press conference on the biennial last November. Hundreds of activists protested his detainment, and he was released on bail a few days later.

“With the intention of supporting the development of Cuban culture at a time when the country is experiencing a serious crisis of faith [and] when banalities and despair are on the rise, [we are] taking art’s demanding and emancipatory power as our banner,” the organizers said. “We believe it’s imperative that this event isn’t delayed and [will] put it on with the minimal resources available.”

More information about the exhibition can be found on the biennial’s YouTube channel.

The list of more than sixty participating artists is as follows:

2+2 =5 (Cuba)
Jenifer Acuña (Cuba)
Eliecer Rodríguez Alemeida (Cuba)
Arian (Cuba)
Alejandro Barreras (Cuba)
Svitlana Biedarieva (Ukraine)
Yvelin Buenrostro (Mexico)
Yasser Castellanos (Cuba)
Celia & Yunior (Cuba)
Filipa César (Portugal)
Coco Social Club (Cuba)
Gabriel Coto (Cuba)
Armando Cuspinera (Mexico)
Lester Dubé (Cuba)
El Sexto (Cuba)
Fernando Reyna Escalona (Cuba)
Italo Expósito (Cuba)
Jesús Hernández Güero (Cuba)
Happy Zombie (Cuba)
Henri Eric Hernández (Cuba)
unx Pardo Ibarra (Colombia)
Keyezua (Angola)
Yimi Konclase (Cuba)
Hamlet Lavastida (Cuba)
David León (Cuba)
Marcel Marquez (Cuba)
Jose Luis Marrero (Cuba)
Antonio Mas (Spain)
Yoenis Eloy Mayeta (Cuba)
Marisol Maza (Mexico)
Raúl Meriño (Cuba)
Adonis Milan (Cuba)
Chino Novo (Cuba)
Yuri Obregón (Cuba)
David de Omni (Cuba)
Yulier P. (Cuba)
Amaury Pacheco (Cuba)
Yaima Pardo (Cuba)
Nonardo Perea (Cuba)
Iris Ruiz (Cuba)
Oscar Salamanca (Colombia)
Sam 33 (Cuba)
Francis Sánchez (Cuba)
Jose Ernesto Alonso Serones (Cuba)
Alein Somonte (Cuba)
Gerardo Stübing (Spain)
Yesica Suárez (Colombia)
Ariel Maceo Tellez (Cuba
Alicia Torres (Spain)
Luis Trápaga (Cuba)
Héctor Trujillo (Cuba)
Yahiron Villalobo (Cuba)
Lía Villares (Cuba)
Julián Yunda Yepes (Mexico)