CLICK Festival in Havana / Dimas Castellano

CLICK Festival organizers

From June 21 to 23 the CLICK Festival was celebrated in Havana, organized by the Blogger Academy, led by Yoani Sánchez, Estado de Sats, headed by Antonio Rodiles, and Spain Blog Even (EBE).

The Click Festival — consisting of panels, workshops, discussions, film showings and exchanges — was an important step in the interrelationship of several diverse actors in Cuba’s alternative civil society.

The attendees included bloggers, musicians, independent journalists, political activists and members of a variety of alternative civic and cultural associations from the provinces of Santiago de Cuba, Camaguey, Villa Clara, Sancti Spiritus, Matanzas, La Habana and Pinar del Río, and two delegates from EBE in Spain. The audience for each session numbered some sixty people, and the closing session was attended by more than 100. In total, some 200 people came.

The three days brought a panorama of the Web 2.0 in the world, the democratization that technology generates in musical production, movies, journalism and other areas of society. And we developed a small exchange on progress being achieved in the management of technology in Cuba.

In the evening of Friday the 22nd, the film “How Facebook Changed the Arab World” was shown, about the role played by these new technologies in the events in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, etc.

The authorities’ “tolerance” of an event of this magnitude is not common in the conditions in Cuba. The organizers were determined to it under any conditions, and behind the permissibility could be the decision to opt for verbal repression through the media. This happened with the editorial in the official press on the Cubadebate site — which charged the planners with being mercenaries in the pay of foreign governments — and with the surprise scheduling of a Cuban Festival of Information to celebrate, according to the newspaper Granma, 25 years since the opening of government Information Centers, a date that won’t be reached until September.

Hopefully we are witnessing a change in attitude toward these activities that are not developed by the government itself and do not represent its interests.

July 2 2012