I will soon be travelling to Cuba to make a short film about their approach to innovation after decades of economic embargo. There’s some research on this concerning the more “product design” aspects of this innovation, based on the work of Ernesto Oroza. Perhaps this is the most watched film about the specifics of this phenomenon: Cuba's DIY Inventions from 30 Years of Isolation - YouTube In our film we will try to cover other aspects of how this creative people have dealt with the embargo, specially in education and digital tech.
A new group of young and enthusiastic people in Havana are starting a collective that is trying to disseminate these skills through workshops. Last time I was there I told them about Precious Plastics (they do not have internet either) and they were super-interested. They have gathered some of the materials to build the machines themselves. Things are not easy to get by in Cuba, metal is very precious there and pretty much everything is re-used, except plastic, plastic is a problem just like it is in the rest of the world. I would like to bring a shredder box with me the next time I go there because this is something that they cannot easily make there. Unfortunately the cost of a pre-cut shredder box is too high for this collective. The salary of the average Cuban is 40,- eur per month, so the cheapest shredder box is comparatively very expensive.
I am helping a little with what I can, but I was wondering if there’s anybody in the Netherlands that can source the parts for a shredder box for cheap. Please get in touch if you think you can help!