Cuba: Exhibition bans photo of official tabloid being used as toilet paper

17 March 2017

Cuban photographer Erick Coll said his work showing a woman using a state-run weekly tabloid as toilet paper was removed from an exhibition in Havana.

Cuban photographer Erick Coll stated via his Facebook account that one of his works depicting a woman using the state-run weekly tabloid Trabajadores (Workers) as toilet paper was removed from the Erotic Art Salon at the Fayad Jamis’ Gallery in Havana, reported El Nuevo Herald on 10 February 2017.

The banned photograph entitled “Valor de uso” (The value of use) refers to the poor value that government information or news has for the people. Trabajadores is an iconic Cuban newspaper managed by the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba (Workers’ Central Union of Cuba) and founded in 1970.

The exact reason behind the censorship of the picture remains uncertain since neither the gallery nor local newspapers have offered an explanation; Coll hasn’t made any other comments about the incident, which wasn’t denied by any of the others involved.

The banning of Coll’s picture has been associated with similar episodes of artistic works banned in Cuba. In 1990, for example, artist Angel Delgado was jailed after a performance in which he defecated over the Cuban Communist Party’s newspaper Granma. In 1999, artist Wilfredo Prieto faced difficulties and criticism for his installation “Discurso” (Discourse), which consisted of toilet paper made entirely from Granma.

Every year, between February and April, the Fayad Jamis’ Gallery organizes the Erotic Art Salon, which features the artworks of Cuban painters, digital artists, photographers, sculptors, and performers and is one of the few spaces for erotic art inside the island.



» EcuRed – 14 March 2017
Fayad Jamis’ Gallery

» La Situación – 12 March 2017
Wilfredo Prieto

» Trabajadores – 12 March 2017
Archive, Printed Editions

» Diario de Cuba – 11 February 2017
The official Cuban press as toilet paper: Censored

» Martí Noticias – 11 February 2017
Cuban exposition censors photograph that suggests that official newspapers only works as toilet paper

» El Nuevo Herald – 10 February 2017
Picture of woman using newspaper as toilet paper is censored in Cuba

» Cubanos por el mundo – 10 February 2017
Cuba continues censoring its artists

» Erick Coll’s Facebook Profile – 9 February 2017
They censor my artwork at the Erotic Art Salon

» Cuba Encuentro – 24 September 2009
The works of Angel Delgado, imprisoned in 1990 for executing a performance

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