Aside from health care and education, the improvement of housing conditions was one of the main promises of the Cuban revolution. In 1971 the so-called Microbrigadas were formed to counteract the ongoing housing deficit. Groups of workers were put aside from the enterprises and commissioned to construct multi-storey apartment blocks. Material costs were covered by the state. Upon completion the apartments were distributed to the workers and their families. Microbrigades – Variations of a story follows in short fragments the turbulent and inconsistent history of self-building in Cuba and presents two of Havanna’s large scale housing quarters: San Agustín and Alamar. Images of architecture, archival footage, and interviews are combined into an experimental collage about this phenomenon of a revolutionary modernism.
Microbrigades – Variations of a Story, Florian Zeyfang, Lisa Schmidt-Colinet, Alexander Schmoeger, DE 2013, 30 min