INSTAR – The Institute of Artivism Hannah Arendt – is both an online platform and a physical institute based in world-renowned political artist Tania Bruguera ‘s home in Havana, Cuba. The mission is inviting artists and activists from around the world to collaborate with Cubans to create peaceful tools for policy change and civic literacy. At the institute, they work with ‘cubanos de a pie’ (everyday cubans) from housewives and professionals to activists and students as a sample of Cuban society transforming audience into active citizens. Civic Literacy is used as the key to teaching how people can actively participate and initiate change in their own communities and in greater society. Hence why they take inspiration from Hannah Arendt, their elected guide as a political theorist, who wrote about complex ideas like totalitarianism and power in a straightforward way that is accessible to anyone. Instar aims to create an equally democratic environment for learning by discussing ideas that are relevant to all, regardless of their political views, economic status, and education level.
This international civic literacy hub, has structurally three main areas:
A Think Tank: A space to rethink policy and constitutional change. The work addresses the Cuban context either through direct reference or by providing working samples that resonate with the ongoing social and political transformations in the country.
A Do Tank – Workshops that will culminate in public performances: The participants in the workshops will learn their human rights and ways in which to ask and enact them.
A Wish Tank – Residencies for artists, activists, political scientists, economists, urban planners : Creating a public event, while in residency, as well as having Cuban assistants that will be working closely with their research which does not have to be about Cuba exclusively, but proximity or reflection on Cuba’s political developments preferably.