Originally posted on MAKE:
Make photo intern Gunther Kirsch forward me this video. It’s a great mini-documentary about Cuban’s resilience and inventiveness during the “special period in the time of peace.”
That was Fidel Castro’s euphemism for the isolation and crippling financial crisis that followed the fall of the Soviet Union 1989. Cuban’s had been suffering privations since the 1960s and as a result created a DIY culture that is more about survival than weekend hobbies. Necessity is the mother of invention. So is hunger.
The documentary features Cuban designer and artist Ernesto Oroza. When he couldn’t find work as an industrial designer in Cuba (there was precious little industry to design for) he and a friend began exploring the island to document and collect uniquely Cuban forms of technology. For example, one of the most common hacks around Cuban is the aluminum lunch tray antennae, which is just what it sounds like.
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