Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Undercover (and vibrantly alive) in Cuba

One of Time's top 25 blogs for 2009 is "Generacion Y" by 38-year-old Havana webmaster and editor Yoani Sánchez. The blog is, in her words, "an exercise in cowardice," because it allows her say things she can't say out loud in Cuba.

The videos Sanchez embeds here, some recorded by her, take you straight to the heart of Cuba -- both undercover and vibrantly above ground.

She posted this video yesterday, in which she and a friend use a hidden camera to explore whether Internet access is banned for Cubans from a local hotel. When they find that it is, they make a point to tell the authority that it is in violation of their rights. That's Yoani behind the newspaper.

Another embed is a shaky recording of an "unforgettable night" with performance artist Tania Bruguera. As part of the installation, there was a podium in front of a red curtain, and anyone could talk about whatever they wanted in just one minute. Yoani writes that she never had access to so many microphones and so: "I prepared a speech on freedom of expression, censorship, blogs, and that elusive tool that is the Internet. In front of the lenses of national television and protected by the foreign guests at the X Havana Biennial, I was followed by shouts of “Freedom,” “Democracy,” and even open challenges to the Cuban authorities. I remember one boy of twenty who confessed that he had never felt more free."

(post by Mia Q.)


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