Monthly Archives: August 2009

The Humble Symbol

The word maverick in countries with communist regimes is used as an epithet. Anyone who disagrees or criticizes the dictates of the totalitarian state is an enemy to the system. Dissent equals job loss, rallies of repudiation, beatings and imprisonment.

Videos are shown from July 28 through August 27 at the National Library José Martí. Amazed, I read that “this is a project that seeks to oppose the basic idea of fixed categories of the unchangeable, of the static, in the knowledge or the defined. A project, therefore, that values and empowers many and diverse fluid areas, that make and shape the everyday micro-politics of power.” The works, “give voice and visibility to an entire group of people and social sectors, ethnic, cultural, sexual … which generally are deprived of voice or image and never come out on maps or guidebooks” . Consistent with the intent called “Map Maker Dissidents”. These are precisely the maps which attempt to draw those who seek peaceful change in our society.

Actually they are nine videos on nine Spanish and Latin American cities. This is a project that draws upon a set of proposals that question the policies of urban space, the spatial order, hierarchical values, sexual identity or the politics of the body and its relation to the construction of the city.”

The exhibit is allowed, in our context, as a charade, an illusion of a government that has for over fifty years penalized the slightest inconsistency. To erase any doubts, Panfilo is about to be sanctioned for the crime of “dangerousness”, the person, in Cuba, who before the camera, expressing his demands, gave “voice and visibility to a whole group of people and social classes, ethnicities, cultures, sexual orientations… who are generally deprived of a voice or face and are never shown on maps or tourist guides.” His punishment is an act of intimidation, another attempt to paralyze the screaming in the throats of all the people.

In the first decades of the founding of the Republic he was represented by a single fictional person called “Liborio”. Today, with his claim and his unjust sentence, Panfilo is the humble symbol of the suffering of the Cuban people.