Cityscape on New Feminism

Rosa Martinez
October 2000

De: Martínez, Rosa.“Cityscape on New Feminism,” Flash Art, vol. XXXIII, no. 24, October, Milan, Italia, 2000. p. 53.

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Cityscape on New Feminism

with Rosa Martínez

R.M: The ideas of silence and sacrifice are very present in your series of actions and installations entitled El Peso de la Culpa (“The Burden of Guilt”). Is the feeling of guilt a political and sexual means of repression that can lead to existential paralysis?

T.B: I see silence and sacrifice as strategies of survival, resistance and submission to power. Certainly I don’t see them as particularly healthy. Other means of this kind of survival include washing one’s hands, looking the other way, pretending not to understand, or simply convincing oneself that whatever is going on is outside as neither matters nor exists. These gestures are available and used by everyone (but traditionally are more often assigned to women.) To me, however, the more precise question is: What is the quality of life within this existence? In Cuba, there is a certain self-congratulation for our endurance, but also a self-indictment. We are after all, players in this game and willing participants in our predicament. This is not a matter of victimization or self-victimization but a source of complex emotions, including both pride and guilt. In Cuba ritual is not merely a matter of religion but of everyday life. The Cuban Revolution brought with its social and political movement its own species of ritual — whether it be organized demonstrations, the routine of waiting in line for goods, or the slogans of everyday life. These are all strategies of political survival, for the Revolution itself as well as those who live within it.