Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara Impact Awards recipient

2 Portrait Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara María Matienzo Puerto
3 00 Biennial of Havana Courtesy of Luis Manuel Otero
10 From the sculpture series Made in China 2012 present Image by Orlando Garcia Garcia Copyright Wondereur 2022


  • Reexamining history


  • Artistic Research
  • Performance
  • Visual Art


  • Cuba

Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara is a Cuban artist and human rights defender whose performances are critical of the conditions many Cubans face. Alcántara leads the San Isidro Collective - an artists’ collective that promotes freedom of expression and cultural rights. He is a co-founder of The Museum of Dissidence, a website and public art project reclaiming and celebrating dissent. 

Alcántara has been using art and cultural expression to contest the ongoing violations of freedom of expression by the Cuban government. In his early work, he created sculptures of human forms, animals, and characters from comic books using salvaged materials. He used sculpture to create a "realistic copy of reality". However in the development of his practice Alcántara wanted to have a more tangible impact with his art and to "search for work that contributed to the reality in which [he] lived". This desire led him to performance art and an individual artistic expression that communicates complex and ironic social and political criticism. 

Alcántara has faced ongoing persecution for his performances. He has had his work confiscated and has been forcibly detained multiple times. His ongoing detention has drawn protests and statements of solidarity from international artists who support his unwavering fight for the freedom of cultural expression in Cuba.