Commons [Micro III_Pigsty] (2017-)

Interactive installation _ Process art
7th Salon of Contemporary Cuban Art, Center for Development of the Visual Arts, Havana, Cuba

Collaboration:

Antonio Ramos Hernández (Sociologist).
Lizabel Mónica (Correction, edition and translation).
Mauricio Vega (designer).

 

I focused this project on the detailed observation of phenomena that emerge spontaneously in Cuba from everyday social practices. These phenomena are a typical tactic reaction either to precarity or a specific deficiency in the public sector. When there is a need, people build their own utilitarian networks outside official institutions via collaboration. Partially related to socialist ideology, these practices can also be understood as the strength of human groups once they organize to meet common goals.

The phenomena that I work with on this project are Cuban cases of informal associations that prioritize the collective over the individual. 

 

Micro III (Pigsty)
Primary Goal: SPACE, to improve living conditions

In the city of Nuevitas, Camagüey, there are two working-class neighborhoods known as Micro I and Micro II. These communities emerged during the time of the city’s industrial eclosion when the state raised two large building areas at the geographical borders of the city to host the workers that operated in the new industries.

But in the ’90s the Special Period arrived, and most of the industries that sustained these communities closed. The economic situation required from the workers to find new alternatives to survive. Raising pigs at home became at that time one of the most popular practices in urban spaces. It was in this context that the biggest pigsty of Cuba was created, with 345 farmyards and around 700 pigs. People named it Micro III, to maintain coherence with the other city areas (Micro I and Micro II). 

Micro III is a geographically located space where governing and urbanization practices take place. It has hydraulic, sanitary, and electric installations. It also has a small clinic, a security system, street addresses, and signage. Since established, Micro III has an administration elected by popular vote. This government consists of a former director and a supervisory board. Both the administration and the community around the pigsty Micro III follow a set of rules or procedure document, which works as the formal constitution.

 

Photo: Williams Cruz.

Assistance:
Yainet Rodríguez, Mauricio Vega, Chuli Herrera, Javier Recio, David Ferrán, Giordano Guerra, Pedro Navarro y Evelio Mederos

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