14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 19 May 2021 — The video clip ‘Es mi Vida’, (It’s My Life), the first audiovisual directed in Cuba by actress and presenter Kiriam Gutiérrez, a trans woman, was censored on national television, as confirmed to 14ymedio by the song’s author, Jorge Papushi Soto.
On Tuesday, the singer went on to the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (ICRT) to deliver the work to the Lucas program and when he left, he received a call on his cell phone. “It was the program’s assistant to tell me that they had informed Orlando Cruzata, the program director, that this video was not going to be aired on television, that it had been banned.”
“The most important thing is that they are not telling me is why it is prohibited. It seems that Cruzata had previously been informed of the video, because when they viewed it then, they told me that they did not see anything wrong with it, but that the censorship comes from the channel’s management,” Papushi explained.
It seems that Cruzata had previously been informed of the video, because when they viewed it then, they told me that they did not see anything wrong with it, but that the censorship comes from the channel’s management”
The composer assures us that Havana Noticiario was going to talk about the video on the 17th, but finally they claimed they didn’t have time. “I guess someone didn’t like the idea of being independent.”
The ban seems to be aimed at the video clip, since the song continues to be broadcast normally on the radio. “It premiered on the radio in position 46 of the Top 100 in Cuba and now it is already in third position,” according to the ratings from the Pista Cubana website.
Kiriam Gutiérrez, audiovisual director, regrets that this censorship episode coincides with the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia.
“I always thought of the video for our community, for all our struggles, for a diverse Cuba, an inclusive Cuba. I never had the idea that it was a commercial video, I did it for people. When Papushi proposed presenting it to Lucas, I was in favor of it. I agreed because it was an opportunity for me to reach more people, but later they told me that the video could not be broadcast on television, without further explanation. I felt very sad.”
Gutiérrez points out that it was precisely agreed to be broadcast on television to achieve visibility that in Cuba is very complicated, since not everyone has the opportunity of connecting to the internet and downloading videos.
“I would have liked very much for it to be aired on television, to reach those people who right now have homosexual, bisexual or lesbian people in their family who are misunderstood”
“I would have liked very much for it to be put on television, to reach those people who right now have homosexual, bisexual or lesbian people in their family who are misunderstood.” These are people who feel violence against trans and bisexuals, and many would have changed their way a little to think and react to situations like these,” explains the artist.
For this video clip, released on May 17th on her YouTube channel, the director also invited Pupushi Soto and other singers who showed their enthusiasm for participating, such as Giselle Ferrer, Tony Lugones, Vania Borges and Arlenys Rodríguez. Transformistas such as veteran Orianna Sharon, “la Cher de Cuba” also collaborated.
“How many children, how many misunderstood adolescents at this time. It would have been nice to provide a little love, that’s what the video is about. The love of life, the freedom to choose your gender identity, the free choice of our life. It would have been very nice for those minutes of love to come to the family, love with respect for all forms of life, all identities, I do not lose hope,” she says.
As the artist explained to this newspaper, the video was made independently, and the filming was possible thanks to many people’s collaboration, both inside and outside Cuba. Filming ‘Es mi Vida‘ was a pending dream since in 2001 when she filmed the video clip ‘Lola’, from the group Moneda Dura, which was banned on national television because of its having her as the protagonist.
Translated by Norma Whiting
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