Could other looks be wrong?

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Submitted by HSV on

Havana is a changing city that transforms itself, sheds its skin to rise Phoenix-like from the ashes. A capital that demands and gives choices, alternatives, and chances for dreamers, optimists and hard-workers that want to improve it and themselves making what they like the most.

In search of that transformation, of shedding the shell that weighs on it and slows it down, the city and its people look for ways, roads, shortcuts and options that allow them to go forward and feel more comfortable, according to their pace and new times.

Many times that ways-to-do are called underground or alternative, and not a few times it has been called marginal to the spaces where certain works are made and to the people who make them. The truth is that, as the city is unique, what once existed, perhaps tomorrow it won’t, and the important thing is to keep trying to build a dream, to keep trying a personal and social fulfillment.

New ways-to-do emerge as a consequence of the search of solutions to the lack of economic, social and cultural quality for the people from the Cuban capital. That is how since a few years, we have the “almendrones”[1] o bike-taxis, which contribute to a better transportation within the city, as well as small food private enterprises that develop everywhere, interiors designs, recreational and enjoyment places, beauty parlors, workshops for any electrical appliances, etc., which show new, or the same improved concepts and methodologies.

In any case these options are not in contradiction, but they complement the existing choices. These generous dialogues, the good-will and its effectiveness on the solution of certain difficulties and shortages have brought as a consequence that, on this case, the alternative is not apart from the official character and institutionalization, but it is supported by them and its suggestions are appreciated.

On the cultural sphere, we have some successful examples, and it is from this perspective that it seems objective to understand the term alternative: on one hand, in relation to its management and production, to resources that are used to make it. In none of these cases they depend on any institutional direct support; on the other hand, we have to understand the alternative in relation to the spaces, materials, concepts and contents with which it Works, because its alternativeness would be in the way it breaks pre-established things, whether it is a place or a way to say or to do.

Havanastreetview is pleased to talk about some cultural projects, which developed from the alternative platform, and today they are effective examples of promotion, advertising, management, curatorial work, landscaping, etc., because they have had a successful development. These have had institutional support, afterwards, for the happening or reproduction of such initiatives in many of their spaces.

Joanna Castillo

[1] Almendrones are old cars from the fifties that still work in Cuba. 

Alternative Havana, Project Articles: There is no peace for the evil people Alternative sales promotion passed around /  Kortajarena, the parrot and the unconscious alternativeness / The alternative people Talking with Ernesto Pérez Zambrano 

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