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e-flux conversations

Alamar: An Oblique Approach

Every presence poses a conflict,
he said one afternoon through his mysterious block
of teeth, confidently and methodically chewing …
Extension: estranged ...

What Alamar is today—that estranged extension—springs from the La Noria ranch owned by the Velazco family. La Noria, “the watermill,” a word which itself embodies cycles, a machine whose buckets extract pieces of history chained to time, as the sound of its toothed wheel leaves us a howl.

A municipality to the east of Havana, its construction began in 1958. It was originally designed as an exclusive suburb for the bourgeoisie and well-paid laborers. Later, after the triumph of the revolution, its fate took a sharp turn. In the Sixties, it became a residential area for foreign technicians. It was not until ’71, that the Alamar Plan came into being. A Soviet-style urban development project, Alamar began with a rush of workers who arrived with the microbrigade movement and set it up as a model residential area—the only one of its kind in the country. Alamar was visited by presidents, heads of state, and delegates representing other Socialist countries of that era. It represented the idea of the construction of the new man, a product of the revolution, who would conform to strict codes of conduct established by the authorities of civil society.

The poem is born to be projected into the next Era …

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