Years ago I turned my back on the academic and intellectual world, tired of seeing, so frequently, the masks covering the faces of my teachers and fellow students. Today begins my journey back to the university campus, bearing in hand the special citation in the Maria Moors Cabot Journalism prizes with which I’ve been honored by Columbia University. An award that I’ve received for—among other things—refusal to take part in this “cultivated” complicity that I was so frustrated to discover on the part of Cuban letters.
Escaping from a bookish erudition detached from reality, I went to the opposite extreme: that of circuitry and binary code. There are roads, however, that lead us always to the same place and that can make a renegade philologist re-embrace the habits of the academy. Particularly, if this return to the world of gowns and diplomas happened for having behaved as a free person in cyberspace.
I think I will use the prestige and protection that the Cabot Prize brings with it to continue to grow the Cuban blogosphere. The alternative journey that unites us every week has reached a point where it must become an authentic blogger academy. As I don’t plan to wait to be allowed to open a school of digital journalism in order to realize this project, I will begin it with bureaucratic and legal formality. The distinction that I have received today can contribute to the birth of a new kind of instruction here, one without ideological conditions, and without those ugly costumes which at one time made me distance myself from the academic world.