Cuba: Imprisonment made Gorki stronger



Imprisonment made Gorki stronger

Gorki Águila is back full force. The Cuban music rebel was praised for his courage in a report on the American news network CNN on 23 April 2007 where his new music got world-wide exposure

    “I’ve lost my fear
    I’ve already been a prisoner
    I’ve only got a few bones left
    From up here the tyrant is watching you
    You’re playing his so that he’ll oppress us”

These are new lyrics of Cuban musician Gorki Águila and his band Porno Para Ricardo, [‘Porno for Ricardo’].

“If anything, Gorki’s lyrics have become more, not less, political since his time behind bars,” said CNN’s Morgan Neill when he presented the new music of Gorki to the world on CNN, profiling what he termed as “the most outspoken voice in Cuba’s rock scene”.

Neill and his camera crew had visited Gorki and his band in their rehearsal room where they are limited to practice and make their music once a week, behind closed doors in a room insulated with egg cartons, in an appartment which Gorki shares with his father.

The group told him that they are banned from playing live, and they distribute their music only via the internet and via handmade CDs which are passed hand to hand.

Click to see CNN video clip

In his CNN-interview, Gorki didn’t try to hide his disappointment in the leaders of his country. Communism? He just couldn’t stop laughing about it.
In another song excerpt he was quoted as singing:

    “I wished I could belive in them
    I’d like to but I can’t
    No more lies, old man”

Morgan Neill ended his report with saying:
“Gorki and the rest of the band say they will keep recording and getting their music out the best they can. One thing they say they won’t do is keep quiet.”

Click to read more about Gorki 

<table width=
Source – 23 April 2007:
‘Cuban band blasts government’

Go to top
Related reading

Interview and live recording with Amal Murkus (recorded at The 2nd World Conference on Music and Censorship);

Freemuse conferences:
Friday 24 Oct, 12.00 – 13.00: Cultural Boycott – of any use?
The culture boycott of South Africa is claimed to have played an important role in the World Community’s attitude to the racial regime and the anti-apartheid struggle as such.
The recent UK initiative to boycott Israel is controversial, so is the Arab initiative to boycott cultural events which include Israeli artists.
In June the EU announced that it will impose a range of diplomatic- and cultural sanctions against Cuba over its recent human rights record.
More than 75 “political activists”, including musicians, have been imprisoned during 2003 and Cuban musicians are boycotted by the US government.
Are culture boycotts or sanctions of any use and how do they affect/damage local and international collaborations?

Ian Smith (UK)
Ariana Hernandez-Reguant (Spain/USA)
Amal Murkus (Palestine/Israel)
Jonathan Walton (UK)
Moderator: Ole Reitov, Freemuse

Saturday 25 Oct, 12.00 – 13.00: Post September 11
“September 11” has even affected musicians, festival- and tour organizers in different parts of the world. Visa problems, threats, disrupted tours, changed play-lists, nationalistic concerts and withdrawal of covers are just a few results. This session reveal and discuss the effects and suggest possible actions.

Kutay Derin Kugay (USA)
Clara Hsu (USA)
Isabel Soffer (USA)
Phil Stanton (UK)
Moderator: Gerald Seligman (USA)