About the project

This project (›Cuba is dead, long live Cuba! 2015, Change in Installments‹) is an analysis of the situation in which my homeland currently is. Cuba is not only a beautiful island in Caribbean see, it is also one of the last socialist countries in the world. In the last years the government has adopted new regulations. At present Cuba changes almost on a daily basis, after time had hold still for so long.
By means of a book I try to explain and introduce the daily life in Havana, the Cuban reality through several perspectives. I show the Cuba of the Cubans.
The book contains different texts written by me: an editorial, a text about Cuban history, a text about different aspects of daily life in Havana, 22 interviews with quite different »kinds« of people, 22 surveys, a lexicon of Cuban terms, two lists of woods (as introduction into the meaning of the two-currencies-system) and – of course – a pictures and a bibliography register. Thereto comes a selection of ca. 160 photos that provides visual context to the information.
The design concept of the book is based on the spirit of Havana: loud, colorful, chaotic, not clean, (almost) everything is half-broken and hundreds of times used, the mixed complexion of its people and of its architecture, …
Visually I translated this into the use of five different color papers that were mixed randomly – which also makes every book a unique exemplar – and the apparently chaotic combination of four different typographies at once, three of them from Cuban designers. On the other hand, the edges were cut quite roughly, giving the books a worn-out and almost broken appearance, like many things in Havana.
Until now Cuba was quite locked-out from the world. Now it is opening. Nobody knows exactly how its political situation is going to develop; nevertheless it is certain that a reversion is not possible. The book is initially sealed by its cover, as Cuba hitherto. Once one beaks the cover to open it, there is no return.

This work was nominated to the German Design Award 2016, due to an illness the entrance into the competition will proceed on 2017.
The German design magazines ›Novum‹ (issue 09.16) and ›Page‹ (issue 07.16) wrote articles about this work.
Out of the content of the project, specially photos and surveys, I developed two exhibitions in March–April 2016 in galleries in Leipzig and Halle.
In early 2016 the book was selected for the exhibition »Words are my reality« in the Burg Galerie in Halle.

Professor: Anna Berkenbusch