Earlier this year, Cuban theater director Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti’s Havana production of Ionesco's Exit The King was shut down by authorities after only two performances. In the December issue of e-flux journal, Malberti responds to a government-friendly theater critic who skewered the play in a review. In the process, Malberti eloquently denounces the idiocy of government censorship of the arts. An excerpt:
You can say and state what you want. You can do so because you have all the means to control and broadcast it. You read the work and took the risk. You neglected the staging. However, what is not sensible or judicious, and what goes against the sensibility of the century in which we live, is the useless effort to silence others, to decree or dictate a persistent and stubborn silence.
There exists no absolute right to do this. You can only impose it by force. And when there is force, reason wanes. It is helpless against terror.
In the name of “national socialism” we are restricted, repressed, punished, gagged, trampled, and hidden. This is an all-powerful fascism. Pure, absolute, and comprehensive. It is the same force that burned books and stigmatized races, sexes, colors, and even thoughts. It is also apartheid. As Fassbinder would say: “fear eats their soul.”
Image of Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti’s production of Exit The King.