Tania Bruguera is a Cuban political performance artist who has been repeatedly arrested for her activism and artwork critical of the Cuban regime. Following Bruguera’s leadership in a protest demanding freedom of expression, Bruguera was arbitrarily swept off the street, detained and interrogated for six hours by Cuban authorities in March 2021. Bruguera described the incident as a “kidnapping.”
Born and raised in Havana, Bruguera is a prominent activist in the San Isidro Movement, an influential protest group that stands up to the Cuban government despite facing intimidation, incitement and arrest by authorities.
Tania’s artwork explores both the promise and failings of the Cuban Revolution through performances that provoke viewers to consider political realities masked by government propaganda and mass-media interpretation.
In 2011, Tania started Immigrant Movement International, a multi-part artwork that ran through 2015. She spent a year living in a small apartment in Corona, Queens, with five undocumented immigrants and their children. Engaging both local and international communities as well as working with social service organizations, elected officials and artists focused on immigration reform, Tania examined growing concerns about the political representation and conditions facing immigrants. As part of the work, Tania launched an Immigrant Respect Awareness Campaign and an international day of actions on December 18, 2011, which the UN designated as International Migrants Day.
- Tania Bruguera Detained Amid Protests Over Artistic Freedom in Cuba, ARTnews, 5 December, 2020
- Tania Bruguera’s Most Famous Works: How the Artist Has Challenged Oppressive Forces with Incisive Performances, ARTnews, 16 July, 2020
- Detained, grilled, denounced: Tania Bruguera on life in Cuba – and her Turbine Hall show, The Guardian, 26 September, 2018