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The incidents during the of the Premio Braque 1968 awards ceremony (brought about by the French embassy in Argentina) were a direct result of the boycott proposed by the artists in reaction to a censorship clause. In this newspaper article, with the tone of a police report, the events are described: a speech by Samuel Oliver at the beginning of the ceremony was interrupted by the intervention of Margarita Paksa, followed by other rebellious gestures. The riot ended when the police intervened and they detained about ten artists, who were defended by the FATRAC (Frente Antiimperialista de Trabajadores de la Cultura) [Anti-Imperialist Cultural Workers Front] in a press release, partially reproduced in the article.


In June 1968, shortly after the French [student strikes in] May, the appearance of a censorship clause in the invitation to participate in the Braque Prize, sponsored by the French Embassy, unleashed a joint reaction from the Rosario and Buenos Aires cultural vanguard groups (the former printed and distributed the manifesto). The ruling instructed the invited artists to “point out the possible existence of photos, phrases, or writings that are part of the work.” Furthermore, the organizers reserved the right to “make any changes they might judge necessary.” If the purpose of this clause was to avoid the prize being awarded to works expressing the anti-institutional stand of the emerging vanguard groups of Argentina, the censorship had a boomerang effect.


The resigning artists decided to intervene in the awards ceremony on July 16 at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. During twenty very agitated minutes, they threw around FATRAC (Frente Antiimperialista de Trabajadores de la Cultura) flyers, rotten eggs, and stink bombs at the officials and especially at the prizewinning work, which its creator, Rogelio Polesello, had created based on the colors of the French flag. There were physical struggles, thrown punches, and lots of running around inside the museum. Everything came to an end with a strong reaction by the security forces: the police intervened rapidly, closing the entrance doors and arresting nine people, who were sentenced to thirty days in jail.  

This account, published in the La Razón daily, details the incidents of that agitated evening.

Ana Longoni.
Fundación Espigas, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Archivo Graciela Carnevale, Rosario, Argentina.