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Beyond Imported MagicEssays on Science, Technology, and Society in Latin America$
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Eden Medina, Ivan da Costa Marques, and Christina Holmes

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027458

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027458.001.0001

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Tropical Assemblage: The Soviet Large Panel in Cuba

Tropical Assemblage: The Soviet Large Panel in Cuba

(p.159) 8 Tropical Assemblage: The Soviet Large Panel in Cuba
Beyond Imported Magic

Hugo Palmarola

Pedro Ignacio Alonso

The MIT Press

Palmarola and Alonso examine the confluence of science, technology, and ideology in one of the largest social housing projects in Latin America, the large-concrete-panel housing projects in Cuba. The authors demonstrate that Cuba’s imagination of revolutionary change was simultaneously local and imported, arguing that the Cuban slogan “Revolution is Building” furthered the Cuban political project and that the Cuban government’s framing of prefabricated housing paralleled its framing of the Cuban New Man. Large-panel construction, they argue, is a hybrid technology that is both Soviet and Cuban and made possible through local innovation and transnational exchange.

Keywords:   architecture, prefabricated housing, local innovation, transnational exchange, Cold war, socialism, Cuba

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