Tania Bruguera Named First Artist-in-Residence for NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs

Tania Bruguera Photo via: pbs.org.

The Cuban artist Tania Bruguera has been named the first artist-in-residence for the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA), established to raise awareness and foster engagement with immigrant communities.

For the residency project, Bruguera will work with the Immigrant Movement (IM) International—a participatory artwork she initiated in 2011 in Corona, Queens, in collaboration with Queens Museum and Creative Time—to provide services for the immigrant-rich community.

“This project provides a unique opportunity to enhance the notion of art as a useful tool to materialize a vision of a more inclusive society,” said Bruguera. “I’m excited to explore new ways of collaborating with New York’s immigrant communities to make a real impact on the lives of city residents.”

Bruguera’s residency, which will commence later this month, will be the first in a series of one-year residencies in New York City agencies, overseen by Cultural Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. The residency is supported by private funding from the Shelly & Donald Rubin Foundation as well as public funds through the Department of Cultural Affairs.

Tania Bruguera's passport.

Tania Bruguera’s passport.
Photo: via América Tevé.

Bruguera was arrested four times and held in legal limbo for over six months, with her passport confiscated, for attempting to restage the performance Tatlin’s Whisper #6 (2009) in Havana’s Revolution Square. Last Friday, Cuban authorities finally returned Bruguera’s passport.

But, she is still awaiting a guarantee that she will be able to return to Cuba if she leaves, which authorities said they would provide in the next two weeks.

According to MOIA, if the Cuban authorities do not provide said guarantee and Bruguera thus remains in Cuba, New York City will still fully support and implement Bruguera’s residency project, executing her collaboration with IM International by following her detailed instructions.

Tania Bruguera reading from Hannah Arendt's book "The Origins of Totalitarianism"Photo: Enrique de la Osa via PRI

Tania Bruguera reading from Hannah Arendt’s book The Origins of Totalitarianism.
Photo: Courtesy of Enrique de la Osa via PRI


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