The spirit of transience and improvisation that permeated daily existence during the Special Period in Cuba in the 1990s did not lend itself to the creation and preservation of objects of enduring quality and aesthetic value. And yet, the material archive of the Special Period is surprising in its diversity, ranging from extraordinary everyday artifacts (re)created by ordinary people intuitively following the premise of the “Three Rs”—“Reduce, Reuse and Recycle”—to works of art inspired by the fundamental strategy of bricolage, from visual testimonies (cartoons, photos) of the never-ending process of rethinking, reusing and reinventing, to the process of collecting and documenting these “rustic” inventions and transplanting them from Cuban households, streets, and farms into books, catalogues, and galleries. Invento luego resisto: el Período Especial en Cuba como experiencia y metáfora (1990-2015) [I Invent, therefore I Resist: The Special Period in Cuba as Experience and Metaphor 1990-2015] analyzes some of these “survivalist” products and strategies that grew out of extreme scarcity only to gain the resonance as compelling witnesses to Cuba’s most recent history and to the resilience of Cuban people.
Elzbieta Sklodowska, Randolph Family Professor of Spanish
Invento luego resisto: el Período Especial en Cuba como experiencia y metáfora (1990-2015) [I Invent, therefore I Resist: The Special Period in Cuba as Experience and Metaphor 1990-2015]
Cuarto Propio (Santiago de Chile)