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Tania Bruguera.

Tania Bruguera to Launch Investigative Journalism Initiative in Cuba

At the UK’s Manchester International Festival, Cuban artist and activist Tania Bruguera revealed plans to establish an investigative journalism initiative that will award prizes and grants and offer workshops for Cuban writers at the Institute of Artivism Hannah Arendt, which she founded in Havana in 2015. The announcement comes amid a crackdown on freedom of expression in the country. 

Bruguera has been active in the ongoing campaign against the censorship law Decree 349 that went into effect in December of last year. The legislation requires state approval for cultural activity and threatens to criminalize those in violation of the law with fines, seizure of property, and detainment. Bruguera is one of several activists who have been detained for protesting the decree.

The institute will accept proposals for the inaugural edition of its Investigative Journalism Award, which comes with a prize of up to $3,000, until November 24. Submitted projects must deal with topics that pertain to social, political, economic, or cultural issues on the island and be supported by demonstrable data and research. “Journalists in Cuba are not familiar with investigative journalism,” said Bruguera. “We are adding to the prize an educational component where we bring in international investigative journalists to give workshops.”

The prize jury will comprise Marcela Turati, founder of the Periodistas de a Pie—an organization that strives to raise the quality of journalism in Mexico—and the Fifth Elemento Lab, a journalism research and innovation laboratory; Cristian Alarcón, director of the magazine Anfibia, which was established in 2012; and Oscar Martínez, editor of special investigations at the El Salvador–based digital newspaper El Faro.

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