Yoani Sánchez was born in 1975 in a tenement in Central Havana and, on starting school, she proudly put the Little Pioneer scarf around her neck, vowing to “Be like Che!” Fourteen when the Berlin Wall fell, her adolescence was marked by what Fidel Castro called “a special period in a time of peace,” a time of terrible scarcity and broad disillusionment.
At the University of Havana Yoani’s incendiary thesis, Words Under Pressure: A Study of the Literature of the Dictatorship in Latin America, eliminated the idea of an academic career. Already married—to Reinaldo Escobar, an ousted-journalist-turned-elevator-mechanic—and a mother, she cobbled together a living as a Spanish teacher and tour guide. In 2002, Yoani decided to emigrate, but in 2004 she returned to Cuba. “I promised myself that I would live in Cuba as a free person, and accept the consequences,” she said. All of her work since then has been a keeping of that promise.
Yoani launched her blog, Generation Y, in April of 2007; later that year a Reuters article brought her to the attention of the world. In 2008 she won Spain’s Ortega y Gasset Prize for digital journalism and Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Recognition and awards followed, including an interview with Barack Obama, posted in her blog, and nomination by the Norwegian government for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.
Yoani is now the journalist she always wanted to be, one deeply immersed in technology. She started The Blogger Academy in her apartment in Havana and runs frequent courses in Twitter. She has published a manual on WordPress, and she works as a correspondent for Spain’s El Pais newspaper. Yoani plans to launch a newspaper in Havana, and is currently working toward that goal.
When: Monday, October 28; 4:30- 6:00 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time) 7:30pm - 9:00pm EST
Where: Bechtel Conference Center, Encina Hall
Open to the public, RSVP required by Friday, October 25. To RSVP, please visit: http://cddrl.stanford.edu/events/reporting_from_cuba_how_pixels_are_bringing_down_the_wall_of_censorship/
Yoani Sanchez - Blogger "Generation Y", Journalist and Publisher in Cuba