Call for immediate release of Hamlet Lavastida

Warsaw/Berlin/Dresden, June 30, 2021

On 26 June 2021, the renowned visual artist Hamlet Lavastida (b.1983) was arrested by Cuban security authorities, and since then is being imprisoned in Villa Marista prison in Havana.

Hamlet Lavastida, before he returned to Cuba, accomplished his scholarship of the international studio programme at Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin, Germany. A few years ago he was a part of the art-in-residency programme at Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw and exhibited his works in Warsaw. He is in conversation with the Albertinum in Dresden for their exhibition and research project on the relation of the GDR to socialist countries of the Global South.

We were happy and privileged to host him in our institutions. Hamlet Lavastida is an intelligent, provocative, boundary-pushing political artist-activist who highlights the distinctly Cuban spirit of cultural resistance and an art for and by the people. Hamlet Lavastida is a courageous and outspoken artist. He makes his opinions public and open for productive discussion he hides nothing, but shares in open conversations and exchange.

We raise our deep concern to learn that the Cuban authorities hold him with no contact to his family and the artistic community of Cuba and worldwide. Hamlet Lavastida is kept in an isolated place to undergo “investigations a deeply troubling and haunting echo especially for us in places where this had happened to too many critical artists before. Hamlet Lavastida just like these artists - believes in arts role for a country that is inclusive, democratic, sovereign, prosperous, equitable and transnational as stated in the 27N movement manifesto.

We demand immediate release of Hamlet Lavastida and ask other artistic communities in the world to join us in this call.

  • Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin
  • Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art
  • Albertinum Dresden
  • Teatr Dramatyczny Warszawy
  • Agnieszka Holland
  • Agnieszka Wróblewska
  • Renata Czarnkowska
  • Agata Całkowska
  • Krystyna Chojnacka
  • Anna Zdrojewska
  • Jowita Budnik
  • Magda Sendecka
  • Dariusz Olszewski
  • Maria Krauss
  • Ingo Arend
  • Norbert Thiel
  • Rachel Kohn
  • Lutz Rathenow
  • Prof. Renata Stih
  • Berlin Opus Cuba
  • Ares Marrero María
  • Katherine Bisquet Hernández
  • Camila Lobon