On Monday, December 3rd, Tania Bruguera, Michel Matos and Amaury Pacheco OmniPoeta were arrested. Bruguera was arrested in her home in Old Havana, while Matos and Pacheco were arrested outside the headquarters of the Ministry of Culture in Havana, when they tried to participate in the call for a sit-in against the new regulations (Decree 349) that will enter into force on Friday, December 7. Bruguera was released later that day and returned to the ministry to show solidarity with the remaining detained artists, she was arrested again.
Under Decree 349, all artists, including collectives, musicians and performers, are prohibited from operating in public or private spaces without prior approval by the Ministry of Culture. Individuals or businesses that hire artists without the authorization can be sanctioned, and artists that work without prior approval can have their materials confiscated or be substantially fined.
There appears to be a global increase in censorship against artists and creatives. Kochi Biennale Foundation stands with free expression, and supports the right to debate and free communication for the global art community.