A Thousand Ways to Die in an Accident

There is a moment in the political struggle where there is no place for chance.

Totalitarian states build their reality. They manufacture lives, also deaths.

It is not death that I fear, but the supposed accident by which that death might occur.

Depoliticizing death is the best way to nullify you as an individual.

I do not believe that, in the days of my hunger strike, the powers-that-be wanted me dead, because control belonged to me.

I had charged my body with political significance; I had snatched the threads of the narrative from them.

That happens when you get ahead. Since I understood the importance of getting ahead, I have tried to get ahead of the dictatorship all the time. Two steps ahead.

It demands effort, concentration, but it is possible. That’s what you do when you escape toward freedom.

The dogs of prey and the foremen chase after you. They bark, scream, make a racket, but they can’t see you. They don’t know who you are or understand where you are.

These images, dark, blurry and tragic, capture that possible final state.

Because the casual ways in which I could die are ways that the powers-that-be have already contemplated, a fate that the god of the dictatorship has carefully woven.

If tomorrow, for example, I go out on the street and someone attacks me, that attack would not be fortuitous. Behind it there is a campaign of discredit, a discourse of hate with me as a target, amplified by the television and the other state media, which would explain that criminal act.

These are not suppositions, but possibilities that I also think a lot about; outcomes that I do not wish, but that I cannot banish from my head. That is the kind of things one imagines when one gets deeply involved in the political fight.

All these deaths chase after the art. Here I get ahead.

I am black, I am an artist. Everything that the dictatorship has planned to do to is ineffective against the imagination.


* Luis Manuel Otero during the hunger strike / Photos: Anyelo Troya

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