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KANNAN ARUNASALAM

Launch of ‘Project Alamar’, a collaborative film and architecture project, initiated at Cornell University, September 2016


Alamar: An Archaeology of Socialist Domestic Infrastructure in Havana’ is an interdisciplinary, collaborative research project involving scholars and practitioners in architecture, comparative literature, and film, examining the legacy of Cuba’s approach to mass housing in the 1970s. The research focuses on the district in East Havana named Alamar, a ‘bedroom community’ of 130,000 residents constructed through the system of assisted self-build called microbrigades. The project was initiated at Cornell University through funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Collaborative Studies in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities grant in 2016. Alamar examines the practical and ideological implications of the unique form of socialist governmentality characteristic of contemporary Cuba, and the nature of its mediation through domestic infrastructures. With collaborators Tao DuFour, Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture, Cornell University, Iulia Statica is Marie Curie Research Fellow at The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London and Tom McEnaney is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Spanish & Portuguese at the University of California, Berkeley.

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