Image: Public Warehouse of reclaimed materials and objects
Parallel to the Cuban Revolution a reuse and repair mentality emerged among Cubans. American technicians left the island and Fidel Castro had to re-educate the people. ‘Worker build your own machinery’ and ‘To beat imperialism in the battle of replacement parts’ were slogans which triggered a makers’ movement. Moreover, shortages of products caused by the trade embargo and the publication of ‘El Libro de la Familia’, a handbook to repair, re-use and retrofit stuff around the house, contributes to the inventiveness of Cubans. This Cuban ingenuity is known as technological disobedience.
As the Western world keeps throwing away (technological obsolescence), Cubans should embrace their mentality and knowledge and be a sustainable example to the world. Instead of throwing away, every object can be reused, repaired or recycled. Alamar’s Material Warehouse incorporates the flows of disregarded materials. It functions as a machine which collects disregarded materials and turns it into new resources through disassembling, recycling and upcycling. Especially when Cuba is opening up to the world Alamar, an outskirt of Havana, could benefit of a circular economy.