Monday, May 6, 2019

Amnesty International: Tomorrow, May 7th. Twitter Hackathon

Ars Gratia Artis

According to the Danish NGO Free Muse in their 2019 report, Cuba was second in the world, after Turkey, with 19 artists detained over the course of 2018. On May 7th durng the Biennale Art Festival in Havana a Twitter Hackathon will be taking place. Let us remember Cuban artists such as Maykel Castillo Pérez, jailed for protesting Decree 349 and Cuban American artists such as  Coco Fusco, denied entry to Cuba to attend the Biennale because of her criticism of censorship of the arts in Cuba.

Cuba – AI Twitter Hackathon Tuesday 7th May 2019

Attached are some examples of images to tweet, but you can create your own with your own face or another in the picture.

What the Twitter Hackathon is all about
On Tuesday, 7th May 2019, during the Havana Biennale Art Festival, we are asking you to take part in a Twitter Hackathon, to raise awareness of a new law in Cuba which stands to censor artistic freedom.

Decree 349 was one of the first laws signed by the new President, Miguel Díaz-Canel. It prohibits artistic expression which the state decides is “obscene”, “vulgar”, or “harmful to ethical and cultural values”. It forces artists, musicians, and performers to have prior approval from the Ministry of Culture, and those working without it can have their materials confiscated or suffer heavy fines. The Cuban authorities have argued that Decree 349 aims to protect Cuban society from “mediocrity” and “banality” in art. In reality, it aims to bring artistic expression in line with the “cultural policy of the state”.

In 2018, president Díaz-Canel and other high-ranking government officers launched Twitter accounts and created the hashtag #SomosContinuidad (“We are continuity”). Using a storm of tweets on May 7th, we expect to “hack” the official hashtag by highlighting what that “continuity” really implies for artists in terms of restrictions on freedom of expression and censorship.

The goal is to achieve trending levels on Twitter using the official hashtag to communicate our messages. Therefore, all our posts must have the #SomosContinuidad hashtag. We aim to have at least 2,500 tweets from our entire movement and allies on the day of the hackathon.


1. On 7th May please tweet the suggested messages which target the President and the Vice-Minister of Culture, Rafael Fernando Rojas G. You can also include the images supplied, of Cuban artists who are speaking out against the decree.

2. Upload a photo of you and/or your colleagues or friends holding a sign with the #SomosContinuidad and #NoToDecree349 hashtags, and use one of the suggested messages in the tweet as well.

Suggested messages:

The leadership of #Cuba might have changed, but censorship of artists and restrictions on artistic expression are still the norm. Is this what the government of @DiazCanelB means by ‘continuity’? #SomosContinuidad #NotoDecree349 #NoAlDecreto349

We show our solidarity with all independent artists in #Cuba standing up for a space in which they can work freely and without fear of reprisals! @DiazCanelB @fernandorojas_6 #SomosContinuidad #NoToDecree349 #NoAlDecreto349

@DiazCanelB @fernandorojas_6 Artists in #Cuba do not need to be protected from “mediocrity” and “banality”. “Continuity” must not = censorship. They need free space to express themselves without fear of reprisals! #SomosContinuidad

Leadership of #Cuba didn't change @DiazCanelB is Raul Castro's puppet but censorship changed, it got worse with #Decree349. #SomosContinuidad #NotoDecree349 #NoAlDecreto349

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