Originally posted on TED Blog:
Tania Bruguera grew up in Cuba, where she was surrounded by the contradictions between propaganda and reality from an early age. She has channeled these tensions into creating artwork that navigates a path between the two. She starts her TED Talk with a personal story of life in 1993, when she somewhat unexpectedly found herself publishing a newspaper. Even today, there’s no such thing as an independent press in Cuba, and her efforts attracted attention from the authorities almost immediately. Her father, an ambassador, was told to take care of his little problem, and that led to the awkward experience of Bruguera Junior being interrogated by the secret police while her father looked on.
“I never revealed who printed the newspaper, or where I was doing this. I knew it would have consequences,” she recalls. “I looked at my father and I could not understand the expression on his face.” When the interrogation was over, the two left in silence, never to talk of the matter again. But it made an impression; censorship became a core theme of all her work from then on.